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Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas – FREE Word Search Handout

Valentines Day Maketing HandoutThe piece we ran on Thanksgiving marketing ideas was a huge hit, so we thought you might want to market yourself for Valentine’s Day too. I personally think marketing you do at the beginning of the year will help your spring selling season.  The time of year when a majority of people contemplate moving.

Use this Valentine’s Day word we created for you in MS Word to market yourself.  Any reason to get in touch is a good one and most people find word search puzzles entertaining.  They are almost hard to resist when one shows up.

A great way to collect leads with the word search puzzle is to do a drawing for anyone who sends you a completed puzzle.  Have them email them in or snap a photo of the completed puzzle with their cell phones and text you a photo of the completed puzzle.  Offer double points if they pose with the kids holding the completed puzzle!  At a minimum, you should collect their name, email address (to alert the winner) and if they text their answers in, you’ll have a cell phone number to add to your database.

The photos that you collect can serve as a reason to blog about the happenings in the neighborhoods you farm as well as posting some of the photos on social media to get some activity brewing.  Including the word search as a PDF in an email blast with the Pinterest Valentinesinvitation to join in your drawing will also increase participation.

We hope the word search puzzle is helpful in generating leads and building relationships with the community you serve.  If you’re looking for more ideas on how to market yourself during Valentine’s Day, check out our Pinterest Board!  We’ve pinned 14 great ideas for the occasion.  Happy marketing!

Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas – FREE Thanksgiving Word Search Handout

The piece we ran on Halloween marketing ideas was a huge hit, so we thought you might want some ideas to market yourself for Thanksgiving too. I personally think marketing you do in November will have more impact than what you put out in December. It gives you an opportunity to express how thankful you are, and it’s a holiday most Americans celebrate, no matter their religious beliefs.

There sure is a lot to be thankful for and it’s a great reason to get in touch, therefore a great reason for marketing and getting yourself out there. People are overwhelmed with the barrage of marketing for the holidays, it’s everywhere we turn and big companies with big budgets kind of outshine the “little guy” in December. I received my Toys R Us Catalog before Halloween this year.

Here’s some ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

Use thanksgiving greeting cards. Everyone else will send traditional holiday cards in December. The best way to stand out is to do what everyone else ISN’T doing. I was listening to a presentation where Ben Kinney (super star KW agent) talked about how he is increasing his postcard marketing budget because so many are abandoning the tried and tested traditional marketing methods of using real estate marketing postcards.

Pick up the phone! No one wants to pick up the phone anymore, which is why you should do it! Call your sphere of influence to say “hi,” wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and to offer your services, should they need your expertise. This could lead to referrals because as we all know, this is the time of year when people are far more social with family and friends. If you want to be top of mind, stay top of mind by being present.

Email something the people in your database would find useful for their Thanksgiving celebrations. The ultimate turkey recipe, how to cook a ham, the secrets to avoiding holiday traffic or anything else you can think of which your database would find valuable. If it’s something of value, it’s a perfect reason to get and stay in touch.

Get yourself on Pinterest! There’s an endless number of ideas for inexpensive give aways to choose from with a quick search on Pinterest. Stopping by past client homes to drop off a small Thanksgiving Day token is a great excuse to drop by. Brian Buffini uses the term “pop-by” to describe the action of popping by, where you leave the car running as you stop by quickly to say “hi,” provide well wishes and get on your merry way to see the next person on your list. It’s not an intrusion when it’s a quick visit and you never go past the front door! How would your business benefit and grow if you added the “pop-by” to one of the many ways you connect with clients, both past and present. It’s brilliant and it works!

Download this FREE Thanksgiving Day word search (below) we created for you, customize it to fit your business andThanksgiving Word Search Puzzle get it out! Offer a prize or drawing for those who send you a picture of their completed word search to increase the engagement with your audience. Post it on your social media channels, your website and encourage competition to make it fun! As people respond, you’ll be collecting leads AND building a relationship. Step it up a notch by having a competition with one of the other agents in your office to see who can get the most responses. Publicize your competition to get your sphere of influence to help you rally for the win!

There’s plenty of excuses to get in touch and most people absolutely celebrate thanksgiving, making it the ultimate excuse. I don’t think you’ll ever find someone who doesn’t appreciate Thanksgiving well wishes…so it’s safe to get out there and connect!

FSBO Lead Generation Tactics – FREE Download

FSBO Lead Generation TacticsWhen many sellers get ready to sell their homes, the first question many consider is, “Can I get away with not using a Realtor®?” With all of the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) websites popping up, it’s easy for a homeowner to think they can save money by listing the property themselves and not paying your commission. You and I know that’s simply not true and that homes sold by Realtors® sell for more and much faster, it’s been proven time and time again.

With lead generation being critical to the success of any real estate agent’s business, prospecting to FSBO’s offers an extremely targeted list of prospects/leads to target.  The key is showing the person who has decided to go FSBO that it is in their best interest to use your services.  Here’s some great objection handling information (which can be downloaded as a flyer…free) for you to use the next time you’re speaking with someone about the advantages of using a Realtor® vs. selling it themselves. It’s a no-brainer!



Buyer’s Commission
As a seller, you would still end up paying the buyer’s agent commission if you sell your own home. This means that your savings is not 6%, but rather 3%. That amounts to $7500 on a $250,000 house. While that may still sound like a significant amount of money, think about the amount of work you’ll do to get the word out. How much is your time worth? Realtors® really do earn their pay.

Listing Services
When you use an agent, they take care of listing your property. They do this not only locally, but also on the internet, where 90% of home buyers look before purchasing a home.

You can certainly list your own home online, but it isn’t free – sites with Multi-Listing Service (MLS) access charge anything from a $395 flat fee to $199 for a 6 month listing. And you want to make sure to hit all the major sites, free or paid. It’s the only way to make sure you are visible to all potential buyers and their agents.

A Realtor® will take care of all of these listings for you, so you don’t have to worry about which sites to use, how long they take to set up, or how much they cost.

Screening Buyers
When you use an agent, they receive all of the calls and weed out the ‘just curious’ lookers or others who would not be able to qualify to buy your house. When you list the home for sale on your own, you have to take ALL the calls and emails yourself. This is another serious time commitment. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending two weeks going back and forth with a potential buyer only to find out they never had financing.

An agent will have the experience to be able to tell right away if someone isn’t going to be able to complete a purchase. And, if a potential buyer does end up wasting their time, that’s part of what you’re paying them to handle. This way, you can spend time on your own commitments and let your agent handle the curious and the serious buyers.

There’s also the consideration of safety.  Most experienced Realtors® won’t work with buyers who aren’t pre-qualified and pre-screened by a mortgage broker. Getting pre-qualified requires showing proof of identification, financial background, a credit check, etc.  It’s good to avoid having complete strangers traipsing through your home with no record of who they are.

Buzz Creation
Real estate agents belong to a close-knit community and know how to build buzz about your property with other agents. In doing this, they are exposing your home to a market you wouldn’t have access to on your own. When a Realtor® can call up a professional contact and recommend they bring a client by, you have an immediate prospect that is actually ready to buy.

In addition, agents have a lot of experience setting up open houses and creating interest in their events. An agent isn’t going to want to waste time or money on an open house that isn’t attended, so they will put their network and advertising skills to good use on your behalf.

Price Setting
The key reason sellers choose to go on their own is to save money. Unfortunately, a real estate agent can offer significant expertise in setting a price-point for your property. They have experience in the area, so they know what price to ask for that will bring good value while also selling your property quickly.

Homeowners have the potential to fall off of both sides of the pricing wagon. Some homeowners love their house so much they price it inappropriately highly, resulting in it sitting on the market unsold for months. Others are unsure of themselves and need to move quickly, so they underprice their homes and cost themselves a lot more financially than they would have saved in commissions.

Ironically, the founder of ForSaleByOwner.com had to use an agent to sell his own home after he “mispriced” it and couldn’t sell it himself. Not only did he gain a lot of money in the price – even after the commission – the property sold quickly.

Paperwork
If you do find a buyer on your own, you’ll quickly realize the mountain of paperwork that it takes to complete a sale. It takes a lot of time to understand all the legal and financial forms you need to make available and sign with the buyer. A mistake in the paperwork and proper disclosures can open you up to serious liability or financial loss.

If you do sell on your own, the sales paperwork is an area where you can’t afford to go it alone. Make sure you do your research and perhaps even consult a real estate lawyer to help you draft the correct forms and disclosures so that you don’t find yourself in significant trouble later.

In the final analysis, you may save a few bucks by going the FSBO route. Unfortunately, you will also spend a significant amount of time, in addition to your current professional and personal obligations, to do so. You may also misprice your home, and you’ll need a lot of help with the final paperwork once you find a buyer. In the end, using a real estate agent is the easier and more affordable way to go.