Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Engage the right audience

Ok, I’ll say it: some real estate clients are better than others. The qualities that go into the making of the ideal client are subjective, but the fact remains that your favorite clients, financially and otherwise, are head and shoulders above the rest.

So, how can you attract more like them and fewer of the others?

It starts with your branding. Since it’s the chief attractor of leads, improving your branding will help you attract more of the leads you are seeking.

You are your branding

Scary, right? Unless you are the agent that has spent a great deal of time working on your brand, what you are putting out there may appear unfocused and too general.

Let’s break it down and see where you might need a new strategy.

First, who is your target client? And, no, “anyone with a pulse” isn’t the correct answer. In fact, pursuing all real estate consumers is one of the most common mistakes real estate agents make. When you try to be the “every agent” to everyone, you lack focus and your brand gets watered down.

Instead of standing out, you blend in.

Take some time to think back on your past clients, picking out those you truly enjoyed working with and who were most profitable. See what each of them have in common and then write out their client profile, combining the commonalities among those on your list.

Focus in

Are you suffering a brand identity crisis? It happens frequently when agents don’t take the time to focus on a target client pool.

For instance, suppose the primary real estate consumers in your area are Gen Xers with a family and a home to sell before they buy another. However, your blog posts and social media shares are about condos and your happy hour cocktail client events don’t speak to the primary client pool at all.

Once you have narrowed down your ideal client, it’s time to customize your brand (and content is a main component) to appeal to and speak to that client.

When you strategically focus your brand’s “voice,” you’re more likely to attract the clients you prefer.

Keep it simple

Hopefully, your brand communicates to potential clients in a way that engages them. Unless you’re a strictly luxury home agent, this means keeping your web content and blog posts simple – writing in plain English and at a 9th-grade level.

Sounds weird until you understand that the average American adult reads at a 9th-grade level, although studies show that we prefer to read at a 7th-grade level, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy.

Other studies show that nearly 80 percent of us don’t really read the words but scan the content. Therefore, the average reader isn’t looking for flowery prose, real estate jargon they can’t decipher, clichés or self-promotion.

And, whatever you do, avoid trying to sound like every other agent in town.

“Would you go to a dinner party and repeat what the person to the right of you is saying? Would that be interesting to anybody? Why are so many businesses saying the same things at the biggest party on the planet — the marketplace?” Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp asks in an article at Inc.com.

Keep your content simple in vocabulary, friendly and engaging while you supply your ideal client with the real estate information he or she craves. How’s the current market? What step should I take next?

Your brand’s voice, evident in your content is important, but it’s speaking to an empty room if you don’t promote it. Use social media channels and direct mail marketing to push out your branded content and bring more eyes back to your website and more calls to your phone.

Brand voice is just one part of a brand, but, for real estate agents, it may just be the most important aspect.

Are you currently focused on attracting sellers? What do sellers want more than anything? Buyers!
Send the I Have a Buyer postcard from the Listing Inventory Series to 100 prospects in an area where you want more listings.

Need help targeting 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 CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

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

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

3. 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

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 a hero!

More words of wisdom from Dean Jackson (the king of real estate marketing). In today’s article, he explains his innovative approach to converting leads over time. Dean Jackson is the founder of GoGoAgent and Listing Agent Lifestyle

Playing the long game

I’ve heard many agents complain when they try different sources to generate leads, for a few months, and get nothing out of it. Unfortunately, the point being missed with this way of thinking is the real payoff with lead generation is in playing the long game.

The correct approach is to look at your lead generation process, not as a short-term expense, but as a capital investment. Do not add unnecessary and misguided pressure to the action of generating leads by expecting to recapture your money in 30, 60 or even 90 days.

It’s time to amend your perception of the value of a lead over time. And begin to cultivate your leads over 12, 18 and even 24 months (regardless of lack of response). Then you will begin to build a true capital asset. And this asset of unconverted leads will become an incredible treasure trove that will continue to pay dividends for years.

A case study

A great story defending the above philosophy is of agent Tony Kalsi. We tracked lead conversion results on Tony’s listings for four years in a “Getting Listings Case Study”. And we discovered 21 transactions he achieved over the four-years were from leads he had generated in the first year that he had continued to cultivate.

If Tony had written off these 21 leads as “duds” due to not being able to convert them quickly, he would have missed out on – I don’t even want to think about how much money!!

I’ve heard story after story like this from agents who understand the long-term approach to converting their leads. They patiently educate and motivate their lead list, then watch the yield from that portfolio continue to pay off year after year.

Being conscious of your marketing dollars has its place. However, focusing only on what you can achieve “right away” from your marketing dollars and discarding the rest is a mistake. And this mistake will cost you longterm valuable assets.

Every new lead that you add to your “lead portfolio” is a potential future client. Some leads may convert quickly, but many more will convert over time, even years after your initial contact.

From “dud” to dynamite

If you have leads gathered over the years that you’ve identified as “duds” due to not converting quickly, I have a great marketing campaign for you. This campaign has the potential to bring many of them back into the fold.

Gather together an email list of your so-called “dud” leads and send them the following email. Put their “first name” in the subject line of the email and then ask them one simple question in the body of the email. “Hi  ‘insert person’s name’, “Are you still looking for a house in ‘insert city or neighborhood’?”. 

That’s it.

That little email and nothing more. Send that email to all of the dud leads you’ve generated and neglected for 90 days or longer (or you feel have neglected you). And you’ll be amazed at how many people respond “Yes, we’re still looking.” You’re also going to be surprised, not in a good way, at the number of responses you get from people that say, “No, we’ve already bought.”

This second response will break your heart, but don’t sulk, just make a mental note that YOU can not predict when a prospect will be READY to move forward. This knowledge will become a reminder to not prejudge your leads. But instead to take the long-term “asset management” approach to nurturing your leads as the treasure trove that they are.

Begin cultivating and nurturing your lead portfolio today by sending out the Ever Thought About Selling postcard from the Listing Inventory Series to at least 100 prospects from your lead list.

To learn more about the other incredible tools and resources Dean has available for agents go to GoGoAgent.com  and ListingAgentLifestyle.com.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of sellers or buyers? 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 CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

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

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

3. 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  – 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

The right audience

Before you can sell anything to anyone, you must reach the right audience.

Your first step in creating a marketing plan for your new listing is to figure out and target the right buyer. The following are some avenues that will help you narrow down the buyer pool.

Go to the source

Talk to your listing client about their neighbors – are they primarily young families, older couples with kids still in the home, retirees, singles?

Location, as you know, is very important in determining a home’s value, but it can also help you pinpoint the likely buyer. Make note of it’s proximity to anything that is popular with homebuyers:

  • Quality schools
  • Shopping, dining and entertainment venues
  • Parks
  • Walking/biking paths
  • Beaches
  • Recreational opportunities, such as ski resorts, golf, equestrian center

The home holds clues

Everything from the price of the home to the square footage can serve as clues to help you narrow down your target market. For instance, smaller, single-story homes may be attractive to older clients while larger, roomier homes in the suburbs are hot with Gen X.

Also, consider any amenities the home offers. Homes with playrooms or a den are ideal for families. Backyards might lure pet owners, but backyards with space for entertaining are magnets for several different types of buyers (young professionals, families, etc.)

Then, use demographics to help you further define the buyer. Is this person single or married? Children? How old would you say the buyer is?

You can figure this out by using some of the various studies you’ll find on the internet.

  • Luxury home? A female between the ages of 50 and 60 may be your target. This group of Americans controls more than half of the country’s wealth. One study found more than 60 percent of luxury home clients were age 45 to 54.
  • A home with more than 2,000 square feet of living space, especially with close proximity to a decent school, your likely buyer will be a member of Gen X, with children.
  • Starter home: If it’s located in the suburbs you’ll be visited by both Millennials and baby boomers. If it features a walk-in closet in the master bedroom and a front porch, you’ll attract the former, while a dedicated laundry room, air conditioning, and a patio will attract the latter.

If you find your buyer will most likely be a Millennial, hire a professional photographer to snap the marketing photos. According to a Zillow study, nearly 60 percent of buyers in this generation say professional pictures are an important factor in their homebuying decision.

The bottom line

You may need to come up with profiles for two or more buying groups. If so, distill each one into one persona and keep those specific personas in mind when targeting your marketing.

Once you figure out who to target when marketing your listing, you’ll find that many of your other listing duties fall into place naturally. You can more confidently recommend which items need to be repaired, for instance, and how to stage the home to appeal to the likely buyer.

Now it’s time to determine your target market and create the perfect mailing list, Go Here.
Then send the Waiting, Waiting Waiting postcard from the Fence Sitter – Buyers Series to at least 100 buyers that you have targeted.

Need help targeting those buyers? 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 CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

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

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

3. 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

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

Dean Jackson (the consummate real estate marketing guru) has done it again. He’s developed a way to automate the process of getting referrals and answered the question, “ If all referrals happen as a result of a conversation, how can we use that knowledge to orchestrate referrals?” Dean Jackson is the founder of GoGoAgent and Listing Agent Lifestyle

The Referral Myth

To begin, let’s clear up a misunderstanding about referrals and why they happen. People do not refer a company or product to someone as a favor to the company. Even if they like the person who owns the company.

People refer for one primary reason – to make themselves feel good. Because when their friend tells them of the “great experience they had” based on their referral it’s personally rewarding.

On a primal level, a successful referral or well-received piece of advice raises our status. And we’re all wired subconsciously with this need for approval and status. When we introduce something to somebody that makes a positive impact on their life we feel good receiving our “thank you” back from them.

So how do we begin the process of orchestrating the referrals, that our clients want to offer, so that they no longer happen by chance?

How referrals happen

For a referral to happen, there are three things that must fall into place.

1. First, the person has to NOTICE that the conversation is about real estate.

2. Then, they have to THINK about you.

3. Finally, they have to INTRODUCE you into the conversation.

Your clients and sphere are surrounded by conversations everywhere they go. We are a conversational society. So the odds are high in the next 30 days every person you know is going to encounter a conversation about real estate.

However, your clients may not even notice the conversation is about real estate or just not think of you at that moment.

Therefore, how can you use the power of suggestion with your clients to stimulate an awareness of real estate conversations? And once they are aware, trigger the right response from them?

Communication is key. And keeping in touch with your sphere on an ongoing basis is pretty easy. You just need to raise their awareness regarding conversations to look out for and what to do when they hear them.

But how do you ensure they’ll follow through? How do you communicate in a way that’s interesting and engaging for them so they stay tuned? And at the same time plant the seed that will help them become the referral “champ” earning rewarding “thank you’s” from everyone they know?

After in-depth research and trial and error, I came up with the perfect, effective solution. This is where my idea for The World’s Most Interesting Postcard came to be.

Orchestrating the referral

The World’s Most Interesting Postcard is a strategic combination of a great client newsletter and a direct response “referral getter”.

The front of the postcard is packed with really interesting, fun and entertaining facts. It includes things that are easy to read and engage in. People love them and look forward to receiving them.

The back of the postcard contains wording meant to stimulate your sphere’s awareness of a specific conversation. It prompts them to look out for this topic and tells them exactly what to do if they hear it.

For example, a postcard back may mention, “what to do when they hear someone talk about selling their home”. Then the card proceeds to state exactly what we want them to do.

The suggestion includes advising your client to call you to make you aware of the referral. This method is more successful because your client already knows you, likes you and trusts you and will have no reluctance calling you.

And when they do, you can offer them a report to pass on to their friend.

Of course, when you hear from your clients regarding a referral, you can figure out the best way for you and their friend to connect. The real purpose of this method is to get them to call you instead of just passing on your name.

After just a few months of this pattern, your clients will really start to notice these conversations. And they’ll know exactly what to do when they hear them.

A targeted referral

Another effective area of the back side of this postcard is a small dialogue box above your photo. Use this space to ask for exactly the kind of referral that you would like right now. Yes, you can even orchestrate a targeted referral.

Maybe you’re working with some buyers who are looking for a particular type of home. Or you’re having a homebuyer workshop and you want to spread the word. Be sure to target something specific that will likely stimulate a quick call from your clients.

How to get The Worlds Most Interesting Postcard

I know with the creativity and ambition that agents possess, many of you are already brainstorming ideas for your own Worlds Most Interesting Postcard.  However, I also understand just how incredibly busy you are and often even the best ideas just won’t get executed simply due to lack of time.

Therefore, I currently design and produce this postcard and all of its contents every month for agents short on time but excited about the opportunity to automate their referrals process.

I also provide a format that you can edit to include your contact information, photo and company logo. You can either print and mail these cards yourself or you can print and mail them through ProspectsPLUS!

Ready to automate your referrals? Send the Worlds Most Interesting postcard to your top 100 clients. Learn more, Here.
To learn more about the other incredible tools and resources Dean has available for agents go to GoGoAgent.com  and ListingAgentLifestyle.com.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of sellers or buyers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list 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 CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

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

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

3. 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  – 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

Time For a Head-to-Head Comparison

When it comes to marketing for leads, diversifying across more than one advertising medium is never a bad idea. One form of marketing piggybacks on another creating a more powerful impact on your target audience.

However, with a limited budget, understanding which form of lead generation will provide you the best bang for your buck is just smart business sense.

With the continued growth of online lead generation companies, a new and seemingly endless supply of leads are now being made available for the busy agent.

However, agent reviews tell a different story. Many complain of bogus leads and feeling scammed, yet other agents sing their praises.

With good marketing dollars at stake, what’s an agent to believe? Time to take a deeper look at online lead generation versus the long-standing favorite direct mail lead generation. Let’s see if we can figure this out. 

Online Lead Generation

Online lead sites typically generate leads by using various forms of digital marketing to drive traffic to landing pages and websites. When new leads funnel in they’re pushed out to the paying agents.

The average monthly cost for these services starts at around $500. Now let’s look at what you are getting for this investment.

The upside: You’re putting your marketing dollars and more importantly your “time investment” in another’s hands. It is now their job to try and target the right audience, develop ads, launch campaigns and maintain them. You have just saved yourself a significant amount of time and effort (hurray!).

The downside: You are also effectively putting your “marketing message” in the hands of a third party. And hoping “their” message represents you in the right way to your potential audience. You’ve saved time, but you have also lost control over how your audience is marketed and what their user experience is like.

In addition, if a lead they furnish you has a bad experience with them, this bad experience is now attached to you as well (yikes!). Their reputation becomes your reputation through association.

Furthermore, you have no idea what journey your “lead” has been on up until the point they were handed to you. Which may be why many agent reviews about online leads convey such a degree of frustration and disappointment. When they actually reach out to the lead, they’re often confused about why they are calling or angry to receive a call from another agent.

Now let’s take the same $500 per month investment and spend it on a targeted direct mail campaign. 

Direct Mail Lead Generation

Let’s say your goal is to generate more listing inventory. So you select a specific, target market that you want to pursue – we’ll call it your “dream audience”. Now you create a targeted mailing list. This list includes a certain neighborhood zip code, specific home values, and maybe even years of ownership or possibly just renters.

Upside: For 100 targeted homes, your “dream audience” mailing list will be an investment of approximately $8.00, at 8 cents per record (yippy!).

Furthermore, you actually know where your lead came from (no 3rd party mystery). And you know that the people who “really want and need your help” are more likely to exist within this targeted group.

Now you choose a postcard to send your “dream audience” from a series that have been proven effective for “generating listing inventory” (designed by an advertising team with years of experience in real estate marketing). The investment to send 100 of these postcards to your “dream” mailing list is $95.00 (double yippy!).

Continued upside: For a total investment of $103 you put yourself in front of 100 of your potential “dream” clients. And you’ve given them powerful, compelling information about you that they can hold in their hand, put up on their refrigerator, or save for future reference. Hey, and guess what? You still have $397 dollars of your $500 monthly budget leftover.

Now that is powerful marketing!

But what about some facts?

Direct mail marketing sure sounds good based on the above analysis. However, as my mother used to say, “The proof is in the pudding” (meaning the proof is in the actual results).

Here are some statistics from the professionals who make a living out of scientifically studying marketing, the DMA (data and Marketing Association), InfoTrends, and International Communications Research.

  • Direct mail marketing outperforms digital marketing response rates by more than 700%.
  • The average ROI for direct mail is 15 -17%.
  • 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase.
  • 59% of U.S. respondents agreed with the following statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products.”
  • 73% of consumers actually prefer snail mail over other advertising methods.
  • 40% of consumers try new businesses after receiving direct mail.
  • People read postcards in greater numbers with a 3.9% year-over-year increase per a USPS Household Diary Study.

Conclusion

By actively controlling your marketing dollars and knowing the history of the potential client “lead” that you have paid hard-earned money to generate, you are comfortably situated in the driver’s seat.

Which, based on the above evidence, appears to be the right place for the best outcome. Outsourcing various tasks that are a part of your business so you have time to focus on what’s important is smart business.

However, there is nothing more important than making the right first impression with the right targeted audience.

And there is no one who can do that better than – YOU!

The time to get in the driver’s seat and take control of your marketing starts now.
Send the More Buyers Than Listings postcard from the Listing Inventory Series to 100 prospects in an area where you want more listings.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of sellers or buyers? 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 CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

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

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

3. 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  – 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