Sunday, September 27, 2020

    There was a time, you may recall, when a product or service with a review from an expert or celebrity was perceived by the public as better than those without these reviews.

    While the latter still holds true (Oprah need only mention the name of a product to skyrocket its sales), the consumer has stolen the power from the experts. Which is amazing for real estate agents.

    We don’t know for sure, but a lot of the credit for the popularity of crowdsourced reviews goes to Jeremy Stoppelman and the flu virus. The latter took Stoppelman online to search for reviews of local doctors. Not finding any, the former PayPal employee decided, with help from Russ Simmons (also formerly with PayPal), to create Yelp.

    Just Listed Color Series

    Today, many of us won’t eat in a restaurant or buy a tube of toothpaste without consulting Yelp or Amazon reviews.

    Is it any wonder then that client testimonials are powerful indications of the level of skill, trustworthiness and customer service of the person one chooses to help sell such an enormous investment–a home?

    Capturing word-of-mouth

    When Stoppelman and Simmons were kicking around the idea that became Yelp, their goal became to “… create something online that could capture word-of-mouth.”

    Word-of-mouth, especially if it comes from one’s sphere of influence (primarily friends and family), is amazingly powerful, according to a Nielson study. Eighty three percent of consumers surveyed in that study trust the opinions of friends and family about a product or service “… above all other forms of advertising.”

    What about other consumers? The ones you aren’t related to? It turns out that two-thirds of them trust “consumer opinions posted online,” according to Nielson.

    With statistics like that, why do so many real estate agents ignore the power of testimonials?

    If you are still relying on presenting your testimonials in text version on a dedicated page on your website, quit it. Those text reviews belong front and center – the best on your home page and the rest sprinkled throughout your site.

    But, don’t stop there.

    Build even more trust with testimonial videos

    Maybe I’m a little skeptical, but when I read a testimonial without a photo of the giver, my trust goes down. My trust is further eroded if the person who gave the testimonial isn’t fully named – “A. Smith” doesn’t exactly help create trust.

    Sure, you can (and should) add your clients’ photos to their testimonials, with their permission of course. While you’re asking for permission, explain that you need to use their full name as well.

    Multi-Photo Series

    The best trust-builder, however, is for potential clients to actually see and hear the testimonial, via video.

    While NAR studies show that homebuyers don’t find listing videos as helpful, other studies show that “When asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, two-thirds of people (66%) said they’d prefer to watch a short video.”

    You don’t need to spend a fortune on the production of these videos. Go big like agent Greg Guinto, make them laugh, like Albert Pavon, or go the budget route (just make it shorter please) like agent Chad Smith.

    When creating your video testimonials, keep them short and “… do a gut check to make sure you’re using everyday language and everyday people,” cautions Ken Wheaton at ThinkWithGoogle.com.

    Post your testimonial videos on your website, of course, but share them on social media and in emails as well.

    Just Sold Color Series
    Promote your success to your Sphere and the area you just sold a home by sending a Just Sold postcard.
    There’s no better way to demonstrate your ability to succeed to future home sellers.

    Need help targeting a specific niche of buyers or sellers? Use our Demographic Search 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 some helpful resources we’ve made available to support your success.

    1. Become a Neighborhood Brand

    Become branded in a specific neighborhood with a 12X15 marketing piece sent automatically each month to an exclusive carrier route. Watch this video to learn more or Click Here.

    2. The Free Real Estate Mailing List Guide

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Real-Estate-Mailing-List-Guide2-3-D-999x1024.jpg

    The Real Estate Mailing List Guide outlines the top tools for generating targeted prospecting lists including Baby Boomers, Empty Nesters, Investors, Lifestyle Interests, High-Income Renters, Move-Up Markets, and more. The Guide also defines done-for-you marketing campaigns to match these markets. –Click Here

    3. The Free 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-Planner-3D-999x1024.jpg

    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

    4. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Business-Plan-3D-Book-New1-270x300.png

    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

    5. 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

    6. The Free Online ROI Calculator

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ROI-calculator-b-233x300.jpg

    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

    7. The Free Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is CRUSH-IT-Guide-3-d-298x300.jpg

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

      Recently, I read an article over at Inman.com, written by Troy Palmquist. The subject is how to “… beef up your referral network,” and Palmquist offered some brilliant tips including one that should be unnecessary.

      Why? Because reminding real estate agents of the value of their real estate sphere, shouldn’t be necessary in 2020.

      Yet, too many agents let it slide, taking for granted the relationships that those names in their CRMs represent.

      Your sphere can be the lifeblood of not only a referral network, but of your entire business if it’s consistently nurtured.

      For that to happen, however, you need to devote more time to your sphere. In other words,

      Focus on lead quality, rather than lead volume.

      Animal II Series

      It takes time to nurture your SOI, to grow it, and, thus, to prosper from it. But the good news is that the tasks involved in accomplishing these goals are far easier and more comfortable for the agent than the constant rotations of the hamster wheel that is new lead gen.

      So, consider stepping off that wheel and working smarter, not harder.

      Let’s take a look at your CRM

      If you’re a new agent, “SOI” may mean little more than three letters. So, let’s start there.

      A sphere of influence in sales is a group of people over which you have some influence and to whom your opinion matters.

      In essence, it’s a group of people who already know, like and trust you. This group naturally includes close family members, colleagues from your previous jobs and anyone else you’ve had a cordial relationship with.

      Established agents: Are these contacts easy to filter in your CRM?

      There are numerous ways to categorize those names.

      Think about it: when creating marketing pieces, you don’t want to be sending information on buying a home to your seller leads and vice versa.

      So, the best place to start is to categorize by whether the contact is a potential buyer or seller.

      You’ll have lots of folks that don’t fit either category because they’re friend, family or others in your sphere.

      Create a category for your SOI as well. It’s ok if someone in your sphere is also a potential buying or selling client, their info will come up when you search for either.

      Need additional CRM organizational tips? Check out these websites:

      Now you’re all set to communicate

      Animal II Series

      Go through your CRM and pick out anyone in your SOI. Remember, they may or may not also be in the market to buy or sell, but they should be a target marketing audience.

      How you market to them is your choice, whether it’s via email (not very effective) or snail mail, this audience requires mostly generic information, such as:

      • How the market in your area is doing
      • The percentage increase in local home values
      • Homeowner DIY tips
      • Local events
      • Restaurant and Mom & Pop store reviews
      • Local and national economic news (in plain English)
      • Local, state and national down payment assistance programs

      Much of the topics that fit your SOI make amazing newsletter fodder and, right now, direct mail is the way to deliver it.

      Basically, you just want to send them something consistently that reminds them that they have a trusted friend in the real estate business.

      Use free social media strategies for all their worth

      If you don’t have a social media strategy, or haven’t been paying attention to the one you have, get busy changing that. If you’re too busy, it’s worth it to hire an intern or virtual assistant to keep on top of it.

      We get it that you don’t have time for a whole lot of schmoozing, so start with one platform. Facebook – it has near-perfect user demographics for real estate marketing.

      If you haven’t been on Facebook in some time you may not be aware of how it’s changed. Users are far more aggressive, bullying of those who disagree on popular news topics is common. The environment is really quite ugly, but it doesn’t impact the platform’s effectiveness for marketers.

      You’ll want to engage with your followers, but avoid (at all costs) becoming involved in the political threads that are quite popular right now. To avoid the temptation, don’t even read them; just scroll right by.

      If you aren’t a member of any local Facebook groups, find out which ones those in your SOI enjoy and join them.

      Your real estate sphere of influence can be a goldmine if you work it. Keep in touch, ask for referrals, and engage with them on social media.

      Animal II Series
      Send a postcard from the Animal II Series to your Sphere of Influence and keep those lines of communication open.

      Need help targeting a specific niche of buyers or sellers? Use our Demographic Search 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 some helpful resources we’ve made available to support your success.

      1. Become a Neighborhood Brand

      Become branded in a specific neighborhood with a 12X15 marketing piece sent automatically each month to an exclusive carrier route. Watch this video to learn more or Click Here.

      2. The Free Real Estate Mailing List Guide

      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Real-Estate-Mailing-List-Guide2-3-D-999x1024.jpg

      The Real Estate Mailing List Guide outlines the top tools for generating targeted prospecting lists including Baby Boomers, Empty Nesters, Investors, Lifestyle Interests, High-Income Renters, Move-Up Markets, and more. The Guide also defines done-for-you marketing campaigns to match these markets. –Click Here

      3. The Free 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan

      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-Planner-3D-999x1024.jpg

      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

      4. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan

      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Business-Plan-3D-Book-New1-270x300.png

      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

      5. 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

      6. The Free Online ROI Calculator

      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ROI-calculator-b-233x300.jpg

      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

      7. The Free Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is CRUSH-IT-Guide-3-d-298x300.jpg

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

        Congratulations Kathleen Floryan on being our $100 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card Winner!

        Kathleen recently shared the following feedback with ProspectsPLUS!.

        “Makes my marketing easy, done in 10 min or less… out the door and quick delivery to my targeted market. Customer service is always at the ready if I have any questions. I have used them for big and small projects, long term and short term. They are my Go-To for all of my marketing needs.”

        Upon finding out she won, Kathreen reached out to us with the following success story…

        “For the first time, one of my postcards paid off. I helped my buyer’s find an off-market house to buy (they are first-time homebuyers). The sellers were happy… no listing on MLS, the neighborhood was angry that they didn’t have a chance to have their friends buy it (apparently a lot of in-community real estate swapping going on) and the buyers were thrilled.  I sent a follow-up postcard (the one featured below) with the story on the back”.  

        Kathleen recently sent out postcards from the Luxury Series and Get More Listings Series (below).

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

          Most agent website mistakes are easy to fix once you know how. Let’s take a look at the three most damaging agent website problems and their solutions.

           1. Lack of focus

          Many agent websites seem to reflect a common agent mindset: “I am a jack of all trades and master of none.” When agents are trying to reach every, last conceivable prospect, their websites end up with a vague and meaningless focus.

          No, “Buyers” and “Sellers” aren’t target audiences – at least not in a way that sets you apart from every other agent in town. If you truly want these two, overly-broad groups as a target, create two websites, one for each.

          Your buyer’s site can then be narrowed down even further. Are you looking to work with renters? Condo buyers? Move-up buyers? Retirement buyers? or Luxury homebuyers?

          Move-Up Market Series

          The same holds true for the seller-focused site: first-time sellers, downsizers, selling the luxury or waterfront home, for instance.

          “One of the biggest marketing mistakes is to attempt to appeal to everyone at once.”

          Suggests Tom Hallissey at Fat Guy Media. “The most-efficient way to reach more qualified consumers is to target smaller, more specific groups.”

          We once worked with a woman who specialized in mobile home buyers. Sure, one mobile home here and there seems hardly worth the effort, but this lady specialized and marketed herself as the expert. She made a killing in the mobile home market and, her website was one of her best lead generation tools.

          2. Overly-focused on the wrong things

          Real estate prospecting is all about building relationships and each visitor to your site is a prospect. What happens then when visitors are immediately bombarded by how great you are, how many homes you’ve sold and how much money you make?

          Is the braggadocio the person you would want to build a relationship with? Of course not. Self-important bragging is unattractive and doesn’t tell your website visitor one thing about “what is in it for them”.

          Move-Up Market Series

          So, skip the hype about you and, instead, make your website client-focused. If your ideal prospects visit your website, what do they want to know? How can you help them find it? Use your knowledge of and experience in real estate to demonstrate why you are the agent they should hire.

          3. Wait … isn’t real estate all about location?

          We recently read a Facebook post from an agent who was complaining that, after six months, his website just wasn’t “working.” He was blaming the website company.

          Yet, one look at his site points the finger right back at the agent. The only mention of his market – his geographic location – was in his email address, posted at the bottom of the page.

          He bought a template website and did nothing to customize it, except to plaster his own name all over it. This, despite there being numerous opportunities on the home page alone to stick in at least the name of his town.

          His neighborhood pages consisted of his IDX for the area. That’s it.

          According to NAR’s study, Real Estate in the Digital Age, nearly half of homebuyers using the internet are interested in neighborhood information.

          Many agents ignore this section (if they even have one) of their websites, and it’s a pity. What’s it like living in a particular community? What are the good points? Why would I – as a first-time buyer, a move-up buyer, a commuter, retirement buyer, someone with a family or any other type of buyer want to live there?

          Use your website to show pictures, discuss local news and events in your blog posts and anything else that captures why this neighborhood is a great place to live.

          If your website isn’t converting as you hoped it would consider tweaking it to be more consumer-focused and offer the information they’re craving.

          Move-Up Market Series
          Send the Dream Neighborhood postcard from the Move-Up Market Series to a Move-Up Market prospect list.

          Need help targeting a specific niche of buyers or sellers? Use our Demographic Search 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 some helpful resources we’ve made available to support your success.

          1. Become a Neighborhood Brand

          Become branded in a specific neighborhood with a 12X15 marketing piece sent automatically each month to an exclusive carrier route. Watch this video to learn more or Click Here.

          2. The Free Real Estate Mailing List Guide

          This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Real-Estate-Mailing-List-Guide2-3-D-999x1024.jpg

          The Real Estate Mailing List Guide outlines the top tools for generating targeted prospecting lists including Baby Boomers, Empty Nesters, Investors, Lifestyle Interests, High-Income Renters, Move-Up Markets, and more. The Guide also defines done-for-you marketing campaigns to match these markets. –Click Here

          3. The Free 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan

          This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-Planner-3D-999x1024.jpg

          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

          4. The Free One-Page Real Estate Business Plan

          This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Business-Plan-3D-Book-New1-270x300.png

          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

          5. 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

          6. The Free Online ROI Calculator

          This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ROI-calculator-b-233x300.jpg

          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

          7. The Free Real Estate Marketing Guide “CRUSH IT” 

          This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is CRUSH-IT-Guide-3-d-298x300.jpg

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