Sunday, September 23, 2018

And the Winners are…

First, we want to thank everyone for your incredible feedback in August! We really appreciate the time you take to give us your thoughts.

Remember, if your name isn’t announced in this month’s contest, a new contest starts in September with new opportunities to win!

Our Winner of the $500 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card is  – Scott Wolf
Scott Wolf ProspectsPLUS contest winner

Scott shared his experiences using ProspectsPLUS! with the following feedback.

“I have used ProspectsPLUS! since 2015 when I went out on my own. I still have the very first card I sent out to compare how much better the card design and content quality continues to become.”

“I get a bit lazy with my mailing during season. I just sent out a targeted drop to put some subtle reminders in front of some potential sellers that I want to get the listings on which has become ultra competitive in my farm area.”

“I ordered 300 jumbo postcards using the recipe content for the first time this past week. They just hit mailboxes and one of the seller’s I’ve been working for 6 months called after getting the postcard to say they are finally are ready to list!”

These direct mailers do work because you can really target your audience and message! I was very pleased with this latest postcard.”

Scott’s Latest Marketing Purchases –Recipe Content Cards, Just Listed postcards

Winner of Our $250 ProspectsPLUS! Gift Card is – Laci & Tim Crabtree

Laci shared her experiences using ProspectsPLUS! with the following feedback.

“ProspectsPLUS! is super easy to use. They have a ton of templates already created for you to choose from or you can upload your own design, and everything is customizable.”

“I have called customer service a couple times and they are always very friendly and helpful.

Laci’s Latest Marketing Purchases – Holiday Series, DIY Series, Sphere Series, Upload Your Own  

Take the lead from Scott and Laci and send at least 100 direct mail Marketing postcards to an area where you want more buyers or sellers!

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!

New agent guide to getting clients
Hey you! The one with the shiny new real estate license

Congrats on passing your exam and finding a broker to hang that license with. We know what you’re thinking:

“Now what?”

We’re willing to wager that the first day in your new office you sat around and stared at a blank computer screen while listening to the conversations around you about client deals and commission checks.

Made you feel like a fish out of water, didn’t it?

The good news is that, like any new thing, you’ll get used to it, learn and hopefully become more successful than you’d ever imagined.

But, it starts with a deal. Just one deal.

And, for that, you’ll need a client. It’s a good thing you’re visiting ProspectsPLUS! because we’re about to walk you through some brilliant ways to connect with that one person who will get you started down what we hope is a long and prosperous career.

A business card is just the beginning

Carry as many business cards as you can and hand them out to everyone. The guy who makes your coffee in the morning, the dry cleaner, your kids’ teachers and everyone you interact with at the gym.

But handing out business cards is just a baby step. You need to get found and one of the best ways to do that is with a website.

NAR tells us that 51 percent of their 1,334,668 members have had a website for at least five years. It’s a surprisingly low number when you consider how much business you can get from your site.

Even more surprising is that only 9 percent of REALTORS® have a blog – one of the best traffic generators if done right.

The typical homebuyer searches for homes online before doing anything else, including seeing if they can even qualify for a mortgage.

If you don’t have a website, there is no way you’ll be found. So, while you’re sitting in your cubby at your broker’s office, work on getting a website (with IDX, a blog and a system to capture leads) up and running.

Who do you know?

 It’s time to fill up that CRM and announce yourself to the world with a card from our Announcement Series. Any veteran agent worth his or her salt will counsel you to rely on your sphere of influence for that first transaction. To determine who is in your sphere of influence, make a list of the following:

  • The family who live in the area you want to serve
  • Friends
  • Neighbors (an especially good source of leads)
  • Former colleagues
  • Connections on social media
  • Casual acquaintances, such as your hair stylist, dentist, doctor and even your pet’s veterinarian (check out the awesome doctor loan products for medical professionals)

This list comprises your network so you’ll need to further refine it to narrow it down to only those people over whom you have some influence. This is your sphere of influence.

“Think about it as the people who would see a movie, read a book, or try a new restaurant because you recommended it,” suggests the pros at Contactually, a CRM provider.

Don’t toss the original list because many in your network will eventually be added to your sphere. Right now, you just want to reach out to folks that you have been in contact with over the past year or so.

Your goal is to, first, let them know that you now have your real estate license and steer them to your website or Facebook page. Aside from calling each one, the best way to get the word out is via social media.

But, since not everyone in your sphere is likely to be a friend on these platforms, email or snail mail is the next best way to announce your new venture.

What to mail, or email

 Although later in your career you’ll want to avoid overt, heavy-handed and frequent self-promotion, right now, it’s a must.

In fact, you may need to beat people over the head (metaphorically, please) with the fact that you now help people buy and sell homes.

A marketing postcard is the ideal medium to use to announce your status as a real estate agent. Send one to each person in your sphere. Then, never mention again that you are a new agent. All future contact with these people should offer something of value, with no reminders that you’re fresh out of real estate school.

What would be considered valuable? A market report, the offer of a free market analysis of their home, news of a neighbor’s home for sale, homeowner tips, etc.

With a monthly Community Newsletter, you can work in all of these topics and more.

We understand that, right now, it seems as if finding that first client may be an elusive dream. But, take the steps to market yourself effectively and that client will appear.

Send out the New Member of the Family postcards from the Agent Introduction Series to all of the contacts you have added to your brand new Sphere of Influence!

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 2 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  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)!

Strategic Realtor marketing plan during slow time
Create a brand new strategic plan for 2019

It’s highly unlikely that you got into real estate to become a marketing genius. That said, for you to succeed in the business requires marketing both yourself and your clients’ interests.

As the season begins to slow in the coming months, one way to remain productive is to spend your time reflecting on your marketing efforts and determine what’s been working and what hasn’t. This way, you’ll have all your ducks in a row to kick off 2019 with a brand-new and ultra-strategic marketing plan.

Stop being a generalist

One of the most interesting dichotomies apparent in real estate professionals is between the longing to stand out and the strict adherence to the standard way of doing business.

This results in marketing messages that are nearly identical, which is why the public claims “all real estate agents are alike.” If you truly want to stand out from everyone else you need to do something different. Start with your business structure.

Instead of trying to convince potential clients that you’re good at everything, why not concentrate on being THE BEST in one area? Ditch the rookie mentality that too many agents hang on to – that you are an all-purpose generalist who “specializes” in all areas of real estate. There’s nothing unique about that.

Be great at one thing

Decide that you’ll stop trying to be good at everything and concentrate on being GREAT at one thing. Be productive during your slower time and think long and hard about becoming the true expert in a niche area of real estate.

Think about what you like best about your current practice. Are there certain clients you enjoy working with more than others? Buyers? Sellers? First-timers, Baby Boomers, families?

Are there certain properties that you’ve worked with more often than others? Maybe waterfront, ranches, condos or vintage homes.

Speak the same language

If all else fails, imagine your ideal client and then create a profile of that person. For example, suppose I’m a veteran and I’ve always felt most comfortable assisting other veterans in their real estate transactions.

After all, we have shared experiences and speak the same “language.” There’s my niche right there.

Maybe you’re an equestrian and love working with other horse owners. Horse properties may be what you should specialize in.

Now you have someone specific to speak to. You understand their needs and can speak directly to them, instead of speaking in vague terms to all real estate consumers. Your content then becomes more valuable, your brand is better defined and your entire real estate practice is unique.

I once interviewed Steve Israel, owner/broker of Buyer’s Edge in Bethesda, MD. Notice his niche is in the brokerage’s name – buyers.

But, not just any buyers. Israel specializes in condos in downtown D.C. I asked him how he came up with this specialization.

He told me that his clientele was, by and large, first-time homebuyers. He also realized that “the condo market is a very vibrant part of the local market and that it lends itself well to being a niche.”

His first productive step was to create a website packed with information and details about the various condo communities. Yes, it was time-consuming, which is why we suggest that you use the slow season to get this started.

Niching your real estate practice works best if you work in a medium to large market. Those in small markets may not find it quite as valuable.

We are rapidly approaching a new year. Consider being productive and using the slower times to create something unique and prosperous that results in a powerful jump-start for the new year.

To keep yourself busy longer and drum up as many new listings as possible, send at least 100 of the Demand is High & Inventory is Low postcards from the Content Card Series to an area where you want more listings.
Speaking of “Being Productive”

We continually work to ensure the highest level of productivity on behalf of our customers. And one way we do this is by getting your marketing out as fast and efficiently as possible while retaining stellar quality.

We are proud to announce we have recently been awarded a special honor by the United States Post Office.

Based on our incredibly high-performance rating we are now one of ONLY 93 companies in the country who has been awarded the elite status of “Full Sevice Certified Mail Service Provider”!

We are so excited about this achievement. There is nothing more important than ensuring your marketing pieces are handled with the highest quality standard and care.

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!

your first phone call to an online lead, real estate
What do they really want?

Why would a real estate consumer give his or her personal contact information to you by filling out a lead form on your website?

Follow the question to the most logical answer. They are contacting you because they want information on a home or because they want to talk to you about selling their home, right?

Now, consider this: 78 percent of homebuyers visit three or more real estate websites before taking an action on one of them, according to the NAR and Google “Digital House Hunt” study.

That means the consumer who is contacting you may have already visited three or more other sites and may, or may not, have also contacted those agents.

Rapid response is the key

That 35 to 50 percent of sales go to the agent who responds first is an oft-quoted statistic, although we haven’t been able to trace it to its origin. But, what if it is accurate?

Since the chances are pretty good that the consumer has also contacted another agent, taking your time responding is like handing your competition a couple thousand dollars.

How rapid is rapid?Realtor marketing postcards for neighborhood updates

Call within five minutes for the best chance at actually reaching the prospect. Wait five hours and your chances of reaching them plummet 3,000 percent, according to the results of a study published at forbes.com.

Oh, by the way, not only are your chances of reaching the lead optimal within 5 minutes of receipt, but conversion rates are too. Even waiting half an hour diminishes those chances 21 times.

So, what happens if you don’t reach the lead? Keep trying, suggests Ani Stepanian, Senior Marketing Director for luxury real estate brand Mercer Vine. In fact, she said you should keep trying for the next 10 days.

“You will probably feel like you shouldn’t make that extra call or send that extra text, but it might make the difference between getting a deal and missing out on one,” Stepanian says at Forbes.com.

So, don’t worry about pestering the person. After all, he or she was the one who initiated the conversation in the first place.

What will I say?

Veteran agents typically don’t have a problem with this, but new agents and introverts struggle with what to say during this initial contact.

First, let’s take a look at what not to say: anything self-promotional. Instead, prepare yourself for the call by having the listing the lead inquired about in front of you. Ensure it’s still on the market and quickly familiarize yourself with its location and details.

Plan on keeping the call brief, informative and non-threatening.

Free Report for Real Estate Marketing to sellers

Your main goal, however, is to listen.

“Hi Ben, this is Gail Superagent with Main Street Realty. I’m following up on your inquiry at my website about a home for sale. How can I help?”

Pay close attention

to what the prospect tells you and the questions he or she asks. If it feels right to stay on the phone longer, offer some soft, probing questions.

  • “When do you plan on moving?”
  • “Do you need to sell your current home first”
  • “Have you seen a lender about a mortgage?”
  • “Are you looking exclusively in the Pleasant Knolls neighborhood or are there others you like as well?”

Get the lead’s permission to follow up by email, perhaps asking if he or she is interested in receiving alerts about homes that fit their needs. Offer incentives here, too, such as a Neighborhood Update postcard for the Pleasant Knolls neighborhood. Or offer to mail them the Free Report, “5 Sure-Fire Tips For a Quick Home Sale”.

Incentives are ideal ways to get email addresses. And always, always, include at least one testimonial in each email.

Online leads are hot if you get to them quickly, so don’t wait.

By the way, if you want to generate some listings, don’t just send Neighborhood update postcards to your online leads.
Realtor marketing postcards for neighborhood updates with a free offerSend at least 100 Neighborhood Update (Free Offer) postcards to 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 2 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  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)!

How to help your buyers and sellers prepare for fall
Time to Get Moving

The market is acting rather crazy lately with home prices dropping in some regions but rising insanely in others. This makes it challenging to figure out what will happen during the upcoming fall market.

Traditionally, the market wakes up in September, after a summer lull while folks are vacationing and enjoying the kids’ time off from school.

But once September and October roll around, agents get busy and stay busy until the winter slowdown.

So, if the past is any indication of what we can expect in the future, you’re about to get busy again. Here’s what your fall buying and selling clients need to know.

Educate your sellersAgent Community Newsletter

Plan a pre-fall photography blitz. Let your potential autumn selling clients know that the best way to stand out from other listings in fall. Showing how their homes looked when the trees were still green and the flowers were blooming is key.

Use a Community Newsletter or an Autumn postcard from Holiday postcard Series to conduct a postcard blitz and offer a free, no obligation exterior photo session before everything turns brown.

 

“So, for the next few weeks, our professional photographer will be roaming the Twin Cities.” “He will be taking exterior photos of our listings that will hit the market in winter and early spring,” mega-agent Kris Lindahl says in his “green photography” promotion.

“Sure, we’ll include some winter wonderland photos in the marketing materials.” “But just think how your home, with its sun-lit landscaping, will stand out as a buyer scrolls through listings online!”

By the way, you’ll know who is serious about selling by the responses you get from your Autumn postcard blitz.

Autumn marketing postcard for agents

Be focused, move quickly

“Time is of the essence” is never truer than it is during the fall real estate market. The time between putting a home on the market and that big old brick wall known as the holidays is short. Everything you do to sell the home will be condensed.

Remind your clients that this means coming up with the appropriate price right out of the gate. An informative and helpful Free Report you can provide your clients with is, “The 6 Pitfalls of Overpricing”.  It will help them understand just what they have to lose by not pricing their home right the first time.

If they refuse, let them know that if the need for a price reduction becomes evident, they’ll need to act immediately – not wait a month.

Yards get messy in autumn, so remind your listing clients to keep up the home’s curb appeal on an ongoing basis.

Remind your clients that leaves will need to be raked more often and dying annuals yanked from the soil. Suggest they hire a gardener to do once weekly yard cleanups if they don’t have the time to do it themselves.

Finally, if the home is still on the market as Thanksgiving approaches, your listing client has some decisions to make. Primarily, does he or she want to remain on the market over the holidays or put the listing on hold until the beginning of the year?

Yes, we understand that you’re hoping to high heaven they don’t yank the listing. If you can convince them to remain on the market, let them know that closings near Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are typically slow going. This way, they can make moving plans accordingly.Free marketing report for agents to give to clients

A report that makes an ideal piece to leave behind during a listing presentation is, “Moving Made Easy”. Its available in the Free Resource section of our website. Yes, this report is free for you. Get a bunch of copies made and keep them on hand to give to your clients.

Help out your buyers

To avoid butting up against Thanksgiving, most homeowners who list their home in the fall put their homes on the market in the early part of the season. Urge your buying clients to be prepared to be the early bird and get their loan preapproval out of the way as soon as possible.

They should also narrow down their choice of neighborhoods so that when a home is listed in the area, they can be among the first to view it.

Warn your buying clients not to give in to the temptation that fall appliance sales offer. This year’s models typically go on sale in September and October to make room for next year’s. These bargains may seem irresistible additions to their soon-to-be new home.

Let them know that the lender may pull their credit once more before closing. A large purchase on credit may either slow down closing or cause loan denial.

You’re the expert that your clients rely on to help them navigate the real estate process. While buying or selling a home is primarily the same in fall as in the other three seasons, there are subtle differences they need to be aware of.Perfect marketing for Fence Sitter Home Sellers

There’s no time to lose in getting your postcard blitz out for the fall season.
Send the Time is running Out postcard from the Fence-Sitters Series to light a fire under the feet of slow-moving sellers.

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 2 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  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)!