(418) 400-9218

It’s Not Too Soon to Create Your Plan

by Julie Escobar

Planning on sending season’s greetings out to your sphere and farm over the next few months?  Great idea! thanksgiving2016v6thumbsstndStaying in touch and top of mind never goes out of season.  Before you buy a card, stick a stamp of figure out where your mailing list is — consider these eight holiday tips!

  1. Be clear about your message.  Even when you’re sending holiday postcards, you can use the reverse side to send a great message to your customer base.  If you are sending to both your sphere and farm, you may want to consider altering the message slightly for each. Make it personal and heart-felt, with a note of thanks for allowing you the opportunity to serve them as customers — or in the case of your farm – the community.
  2. Serve two purposes.  Are you having a holiday open house? Customer event?  Charity drive?  Looking for a good time to stop by with a small gift? You can include that information on the cards as well.
  3. Don’t be salesy.  Holiday greetings are not about the sale – they are about the connection.  Keep it warm and personable.
  4. Don’t wait for just Christmas.  Many top agents send a holiday message once a month to their sphere.
    Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Valentine’s, Easter and beyond. There’s something to celebrate all
    year round, and it’s a fun way to stay connected and stand out as someone who is “there” more than just in the month of December.
  5. Have some fun with it.  Got a great team? Or just a great personality?  Take some fun pictures and opt for a photocard rather than a more traditional card and don’t be afraid to get a little creative with your photos.
  6. Don’t leave anyone out! You know all those mailing photo-cards-16lists you’ve been collecting throughout the year? For Just Listed postcards, or the stack of business cards that have been sitting on the corner of your desk collecting dust?
  7. Order early.  We suggest sending your holiday cards out at LEAST two weeks in advance of the holiday every month — and sending first class as opposed to standard-class to ensure timely delivery.holiday-cards-16
  8. Follow up.  Sending cards is a great way to easily stay in touch.  Pick a postcard, edit your message, add a list – and you’re done!  In a matter of minutes you’ve created a connection.  However to really get the full impact of ANY mailing (holiday and otherwise) — be sure to follow up – at least with the top 25% of your list.  There is no substitution for this step.  Imagine if you made it a point each year, every year, to speak with every single person in your sphere at least twice a year?  Touch base, see if they have questions, thank them for being great customers, and say hello.  Here’s what happens when you do:  they remember you.  They don’t list with another agent because your name wasn’t on the radar.  They are grateful that you take the time to call.  And one out of 12? Statistically will do business with you or refer business to you.

Here’s to a great holiday season ahead – and to staying in touch with your sphere and farm!  We’re even going to make that a little easier on your budget! From now until January 5th, we’re donating 10% of our holiday postcard orders, (excluding postage, tax and shipping) to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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Need help?  We’re here for you!  Call our team at 866.405.3638 today.  We’ll help get your holidays started and save you money at the same time! Have a great one!  

(415) 250-6910
Tracking on a Tech Business Chart Art

Taking the Guesswork Out of Real Estate Marketingtrack it

By Julie Escobar

You’ve got to love technology right?  As real estate professionals in today’s competitive world, every marketing step counts – and every marketing dollar is important.  We get that.  That’s why we put systems in place to track 100% of all postcard and mailing orders.  That way, you know what’s been delivered, when there’s an issue and exactly when you can start following up on your important real estate marketing mailing.

Here’s a quick video to show you how it works:

As you kick your marketing and momentum into high gear – here are four things you should know:

1.       Track My Mail is a Resource You Can Trust.  We know that every dollar counts and you want to know that your marketing is not only being sent, but is being delivered.  We want the same.  Every time you place an order, you will be sent a link when that order is shipped so you can track your mail every step of the way. When we deliver it to the post office, when and where it’s routed, and when it gets delivered.  That way you’ve got total confidence that your marketing is working for you. There’s no extra cost, no fuss, no questions.  We’ve got you covered.

2.       There are LOTS of options available.  Marketing is a big decision for agents today, and budgets are a 2293643706giant factor.  We’ve got tools that can match any budget, and can help you reach as far or as limited a target as you are comfortable with.  From Every Door Direct options that allow you to blanket entire geographic areas, to Just Listed/Just Sold Postcards which are a foundation for any real estate marketing plan, to the collateral pieces you need for fair trade items, blog fodder, consumer friendly website downloads and presentation content and more.  We can work with you one-on-one to meet your budget and extend your reach with ease.

3.       By real estate professionals for real estate professionals.  With our organization, you’ll know that your marketing is being written and produced by people who have long ties and experience in this industry we love.  We’re constantly watching market trends so we can keep you on the cutting edge when it comes to always having tcommunitynewsnovthumbsfront4he right piece for the right person at the right time.  It’s the difference – that makes all the difference.

4.       Totally editable.  We get that creating is HARD and clicking is EASY.  That’s why we try to do as much of the ‘heavy lifting’ as possible so that when you choose your marketing materials  – be they 505-346-8835 – you don’t HAVE to change a thing if you don’t want to.  You can simply have our system apply your contact and profile information and go – but if you want?  You can totally change whatever you like.  Change the words. The images. Upload your own piece even.  Flexibility is key in today’s busy world.  You have our commitment to continuously make that an easy solution.

(321) 779-7759

We know that a successful agent is a busy agent.  And time – is really of the essence.  So giving you the options, materials, resources and support you need  is our top priority.  Call us today at 866.405.3638 and speak to one of our marketing professionals about building your book of business this year. We’ve got just what you need to succeed.

Building a Book of Business

By Brian Fox, Benutech

Loyal supporters are important for any business not only survive but to also thrive. Be it Coca-Cola or Pepsi, each brand has their loyal returning supporters. Ford vs. Chevy, for years parents all across the U.S. have raised their kids on one side or the other of the “truck fence”.   Think Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins.  New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers. For my English football fans… is it Manchester United or Liverpool FC for you? These brands initially attracted our interest, then kept us by providing us with identity, entertainment, and valuable life moments. And at the end of the day – it doesn’t matter what brands or teams you support, the IMPORTANT part for whom you support, is that you SUPPORT. Dallas Cowboy fans purchase Cowboy gear, game tickets, and spend money at the Stadium which makes the Dallas Cowboys significant revenue.

So as real estate agents, how do we develop loyal followers and that highly desired significant revenue that comes from a loyal group of supporters? When looking at the root of loyal support, the brand or team being supported is delivering an image or something of value to their supporters. The more they deliver that value, the more supporters they receive. So what can we deliver that will create followers that support and build a large referral book of business?

Let’s assume the position of the typical homeowner…
Access to MLS? No.
Access to assessor, loan/transaction history, sales comparables? No.
Understanding of what to consider before down-sizing? No.
To build our Investor supporters… The location of distressed homes that may sell soon? No.

I think all too often, real estate agents take for granted all we know, and all we have access to in this industry. One of the most valuable assets you have as an Agent is your knowledge about real estate itself, real estate terminology, real estate transactions and the real estate market around you. All of which is super valuable to homeowners. Be their resource and they will support you and your business – no different than Coke, Starbucks, or DirecTv.(901) 218-1481

Think about it: Homeowners are constantly doing calculations on “What do I owe?” vs. “What’s my home worth?” The difference represents “money in the bank”.  Zillow and similar sites have developed a poor reputation for delivering those answers. Homeowners don’t like paying property taxes – can you provide them knowledge on what an assessment is, and how to possibly lower their taxable assessments? Can you offer homeowners insight on what steps go into purchasing a second home or investment property? You are the real estate expert, Mr. Homeowner is not, and so you can better answer questions like free-comparitive-market-analysisthese. And best yet, these opportunities represents the chance to meet homeowners so that you can get to know them. On your next postcard mailing… think about Neighborhood update postcardsusing a message like… “What’s your home worth?” – “I know, and I would love to help answer that for you”. “Considering Purchasing a Second Home? “Let me help you with understanding costs and qualifications”. “Property Taxes Too High?” “Let’s evaluate your assessed value vs. market value and see if we can lower them.” Important questions for homeowners, and valuable answers that you are best qualified to provide. ProspectsPLUS! does a great job of providing the tools you can easily customize and send to get your message out such as their (949) 234-0793 and their (506) 321-1639

To build a supporting group of Investor clients… What causes homeowners sell quickly with less desire to make top dollar in the sale of the home? For starters: Death, Divorce, Mortgage and tax defaults all lead to quick sales. And many times, they are distressed sales. When a homeowner passes away, the heirs tend to be more concerned with quick money from the sale of the home, (708) 222-2319more so than top dollar. Oh, and they don’t want to do home improvements prior to listing the home for sale – which add to the perfect opportunity for investor clients. Mortgage or tax defaults are similar… The default is an issue that creates a “quick sale” scenario that is way more important than receiving the highest price available in the sale. The result is the perfect opportunity for you and your investor supporters. These types of “life event” information (death, divorce, defaults) tied to property is not easy to locate – but for the agents that do, the opportunities are endless. Think about this in your next mailing… “Looking for off-market properties that have a high chance of selling quickly?” – I know where they are located. Next question: Who do you mail these types of postcards to? The mailing addresses of the investors that already own investment property in the immediate area. These mort-defaultfolks already own investment property – so what better pool of folks to get to know with this valuable data that only you have?

ProspectsPLUS! makes this messaging easy for you with their 575-289-3532 that correspond to our data mining tools.

Hopefully I am not the first to tell you…. when looking to deliver “items of value” to create a loyal group of supporters, it’s not a “hot cooking recipe” or “note pad” with your mug shot on it. Those are simply items that remind the homeowner you exist – but they don’t provide anything of significant value. I have never entertained making the “Spiced Rum Cake” that came in the mail from a Realtor – have you? But if you could help me locate an off-market property that I have a better chance of acquiring at a less than market price or if you could confidently tell me how much money I have in my “housing piggy bank” (equity) – I start to become your follower, your supporter, and I help you build your supporters via recommendations and referrals.

As your loyal group of supporters builds… regular valuable information will be the key to keeping their support. Offer them pricing updates on their home, information on market trends based upon recent sales and recent listings – all information they want to know. Offer them off-market opportunities (from new “life events”) as new ones pop-up. It’s interesting and it’s valuable, and if they are interested in finding a great deal on another home – they will support you as their agent.

As an Agent, you have access to some really great sets of information – use it.

Brian Fox is Vice President of Business Development for Benutech, Inc.. Benutech is the creator of the award-winning ReboGateway property data product that identifies which properties across the Nation have divorce, mortgage defaults, tax defaults, death affidavits, probate filings, bankruptcy filings, FSBO, estate sales, or empty nester scenarios present. This valuable information allows agents to quickly identify which properties have the best chance of listing/selling soon. Work smarter, not harder. (www.ReboGateway.com)

Need help using the postcard tools referenced in today’s post? Call our team at 866.405.3638 or visit our site today at www.prospectsplus.com. 

Was YOUR Name Drawn?

Wow! A big thanks to all our amazing contestants this past month! We had some terrific entries – and we thank you all so much for sharing your 3155526571 experiences! If your name wasn’t drawn – no worries!  We’ll choose three MORE winners December 5th!  Congratulations everyone!

Our $250 winner is Noy Kongmanivong who shared, “I ordered a custom magnetic football calendars. When I got the order I was very happy with the final product. My only complaint was that I wished I had ordered 100 more.”

Our $100 winner is ‎Sheryl Eagle‎ who shared, “I love the postcards that get sent out because I do receive calls and get business from them! I just recently closed on a house in New Castle, PA. When I asked the daughter why she called me (because I am out of Butler, PA), she told me that her mother had saved one of my postcards! Her mother had not been living in the home for quite some time! Thanks, ProspectsPLUS!”

Our $50 winner is Alexis Erdos Dumbaugh‎ who shared, “Just placed my first ProspectsPLUS.com order! I was so excited; I went on and placed a second order! Can’t wait to get my postcards sent!”

Thank you to everyone who entered! Ready to throw your hat in the ring? It’s easy!  Leave your review of your ProspectsPLUS.com product or service on our Google+ Page or our Facebook Page today!  We’ll give away a total of $400 more in ProspectsPLUS! gift cards!  Next drawing is December 5th!

We’d also like to invite you to join us in our goal to raise $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®! We are matching every donation this year, dollar-for-dollar! Learn more at: 859-982-5473.

Inspired Insights from World-Class Real Estate Speaker and Coach Darryl Davis

by Julie Escobar

When you are looking for straight-talk strategies for building not just a business — but a successful book of business, it’s always a good idea to go to someone who not only knows how to help agents succeed at exceptional levels — but one who just tells it like it is.  For that? I reached out to my old friend Darryl Davis. He’s an Darryl Davis 06author, speaker, trainer, coach — and one of the funniest guys you can talk to.  His analogies and ability to weave a story into a message are epic. It’s part of what makes him such an effective speaker – it’s also why I wanted to interview him for this topic!

Q: Hey Darryl, thanks for sharing your insights with us again for this edition.  Our focus this time around is really building a strong business base.  Can you share some thoughts on  that?

A:  Building a business?  You know I’m a FSBO/Expired guy – but when we are talking about building a business foundation?  Know that there are two types of contacts to focus on.

First there is your geographic farm.  These folks don’t know you yet, so it’s your job to help them with that.  For this group, you’ve got to stay in touch monthly.  Your 4354723677name, your face, your brand, your results each and every month.  Of course, you guys make that easy for them with products like the…

You’re building trust and establishing yourself as the agent to call.

Secondly, there’s your sphere – or those folks that know your name, face, what you do, and trust you enough to do business with. This breaks into people you haven’t worked with before, (family, friends, acquaintances) and those you have (past sellers or buyers).  For these folks to remember you, remember that you’re in real estate and that well, you know, they should call YOU before the guy down the street when they have a real estate question or need or an amazing referral, you need to stay in touch. I usually recommend at least 4-6 times per year with this crowd with things like:9497584042

I’ll give you a great tip:  Every single January I’d send a copy of the HUD statement to everyone who has every purchased a home through me in the last year with a note saying, “Congratulations on owning a home! I’ve taken the liberty of making a copy of your HUD statement so you have it handy to give to your
accountant.  Hope things are going great! I’d love to hear from you if you need anything.”  Wow – see you just saved them time and stress and made a contact that personal to them. Win-win-win.communitynewsnovthumbsfront4

For every other client/customer of mine? At the first of the year I would send an updated market analysis to with a note that said something like, “Just as you would check your stock portfolio, 401K, etc., it’s also a good idea to do a check in on the market analysis of your home investment.  As always, I’m here to help if you have any real estate questions or needs!”

Stay top of mind with these folks by sending them something to help them stay connected to you and recognize that you’re there as a resource. And don’t be shy about picking up the phone and saying hello and asking if people need anything a couple times per year.  Or creating opportunities to see them in person.

Q: Darryl, I loved your message in our last magazine where you talked about listing INVENTORY being the name of the game, not just listings. Can you share a little more about that?

A:  What I’ve been teaching is that agents need to look at their business as if they were running a store.  With a store, you’ve got a location, employees, and you’ve got to stock and manage your inventory. So, say you were selling candy?  You must have enough candy on the shelves when customers come in right?  Otherwise people are going to buy their candy somewhere else! So if you’re a real estate agent your inventory is real estate.  I tell agents to make a chart January-December on the bottom andneighborhood update series the numbers 0-20 on the left side.  Next, plot it out. Say your goal is to get four listings per month and build your inventory.  Now you have get four listings in January, but you sell two. You know you need to replace those two, plus get four more for February and so on.  Creating a visual to see whether your graph is going up (the right direction) or down (further from your goals) helps you think like a business person.  And that? Is a big key to success. Because there are a LOT of agents running around with a fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants approach to their real estate career – which is fine if you want to always wonder where your next commission is coming from or if burn out is your thing. But top agents who want to be at this a long time and have a lot to show for it, understand that applying true business practices and mindsets is the win-win they need.

Q: You hit the nail on the head.  One topic that seems to come up a lot with agents is the idea that they just don’t have the time to focus on databases and marketing and details!  What would your advice be in terms of time management?

A:  First, I would tell them to be crystal clear on their priorities.  In real estate, it’s easy to get distracted with things that don’t forward your business.  I’ll tell you a little story. There’s a woman named Rachel Lust who is a Hula Hooper.  If you look her up on YouTube, you’ll see she has hundreds of thousands of views and likes. She did the halftime show for the Chicago Bulls.  She is the most famous person in the world of hula hooping.  She’s got a line of videos, hoops, clothes, you name it.  Do you know what Rachel does for two hours a day, six days a week, no matter what?  Yep. She Hula Hoops.  Why? Because literally NOTHING else matters if she’s not good at her trade.  It’s the same with agents.  If you aren’t prospecting, looking for listing inventory, and taking new listings – the rest doesn’t matter.

I’ll give you another example.  I ran the NYC Marathon. Now here’s what you might not know about me:  I HATE exercise.  Hate it. Five days a week, I had to get up in the morning and run, and one day a week I had to cross train. For five months, I had to do this.  Didn’t want to do it. Didn’t feel like doing it. It was uncomfortable. For me to meet this commitment I made, and log in the two hours of running every day, I had to get up two hours earlier to make it work.  Here’s the thing: I couldn’t fit running into my life, I had to fit my life around the commitment to run.

That’s how you’ve got to look at what it takes to make it at high levels in this business.  You see the agents that say, “I’ll get to prospecting after I check my Facebook, and my emails, and my this or that.” Time management is not the problem there.  Commitment is the problem. Everything you need to do lines up behind the commitment.

Say you’re having a party.  That means there’s cooking, cleaning, preparing all that has to be done. But you’re running late–right? Now you say you’ve got two hours of work to do in just thirty minutes.  Do you do it? YES!  That?  Is a BREAKTHROUGH. Because when you REALLY have to get something done you do it.  Manage your activities, and what dictates those activities is your commitment. People who are passionate about commitment don’t have time management issues. They are focused, clear, and committed.  They don’t just do commitments – they are commitment.

Q:  What additional advice do you have for agents who want to really knock it out of the park this year in real estate?

A:  That one is easy. Systemize your business.  Run it like a business.  Think like Rachel Lust. She has moves that she has absolutely mastered with that Hula Hoop.  Then she masters another, and another. It’s like dancing. If you only know five dance steps – you don’t look so good out there on the floor-right? In real estate there are definitely some dance moves to master. Moves like…

  1. Prospecting
  2. Listing Appointments
  3. Customer Service
  4. Working (playing) with Buyers (I call this a break from real work)
  5. Negotiating offers
  6. Use of metaphors and analogies (these are what set you apart – give you distinction)

All of these moves take commitment, solid commitment. Figure out what you real commitment is. What you really want to accomplish, then let everything else line up behind that goal.  I just caution you to make it more about the people – the lives you help – rather than the money. When you do it right and your passion is for the people you can help, the money comes.

Awesome stuff Darryl. Thanks for sharing.  If you’d like to learn more about Darryl’s training courses and products, please visit www.DarrylSpeaks.com – and read his bio below.

About Darryl Davis

Darryl became a real estate agent at the age of 19 and quickly climbed the ladder to become a top producer, averaging six transactions a month. He became a licensed broker and manager of a new office that became the #1 listing and selling branch within its first 6 months of operation. He’s been named one of the highest-rated speakers at the National Association of REALTORS® convention for the past several years and is the ONLY real estate speaker who is a best-selling author with McGraw-Hill Publishing for his book, (208) 631-1842. He is the founder of The POWER Program®, a yearlong real estate coaching program that has proven results of agents doubling their income over their previous year. He’s also the creator of the nationally acclaimed three-day program S.U.R.E. Results, where agents generate an average of $33,504.82 over their previous year. And as creator of the nationally recognized term “Next Level®,” Darryl strives to bring his students and attendees to their “Next Level®” of success by training them on how to have more fun and less stress in their business and personal lives. To learn more about Darryl and his training tools and services, visit rapid-firer, or contact him at 1-800-395-3905.

To learn more about staying in consistent touch with your sphere and farm (as Darryl teaches), visit www.prospectsplus.com, or call our support team at 866.405.3638 today.