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Archive for Real Estate Email – Page 2

Real Estate Marketing Ideas for 2015

2015 real estate marketing ideasThe New Year is upon us, so it’s time to revamp your marketing efforts for 2015! A new year is a great time to review what worked in 2014 and make plans for what you want to change or continue. Here are some real estate marketing ideas for you to consider for 2015.

Person to Person Interaction

The world has become too impersonal – we rely so much on email, postcards, and social media that we’ve almost forgotten how to actually speak to each other. For your 2015 real estate marketing strategy, place your agency on the front lines of in-person interaction. Here are some ideas on how:

  • Take regular walks in your target neighborhoods. If you have a well-behaved dog, even better! Strike up conversations with homeowners that you see out in their yards and driveways. Get to know them, shake their hand, and offer a useful branded item, such as a pen.
  • Host quarterly in-person events. These can vary throughout the year – perhaps a costume party at your office in the fall, and a free spring-cleaning seminar in the April. By regularly having face-to-face events, you will become well known in your community as a resource and a helper. Even if attendees aren’t buying or selling they likely know someone who is.
  • Participate in festivals, fairs, and other events that take place in your area. This may include attending farmer’s markets regularly, or having a booth at a local fair. Whether you’re simply attending or actually advertising, your presence will make you a trusted, familiar face.

Ask for Referrals!

As much as 75% of a Realtor’s® business comes from referrals and word-of-mouth. As a result, it’s important to not only make yourself known, but to ask for referrals! It costs many times more to get new prospects than it does to keep in touch with previous clients and ask them to help you find new customers. There are several ways to keep the communication going with previous clients:

  • Invite them to your in-person events. Using the “80/20 rule”, you should spend 80% of your interactions being helpful to others and only 20% offering your own services. As a result, you should be offering plenty of events that previous clients can learn from. If they come and gain more valuable knowledge from you, they will keep you in mind if someone they know needs a Realtor®!
  • Keep in touch with regular mailings. These mailing should be different than they ones you send prospects – they should include a thank you for your previous work together and ask for referrals if they know someone who is buying or selling property. These mailings can be holiday cards, seasonal postcards, or – for an especially personal touch – a birthday greeting.
  • Keep in touch on social media and email. Although you can focus on personal interactions in 2015, you can’t neglect the amount of time people spend online. Sprinkle in some emails, social media mentions, and other online interaction to keep your bonds with previous customers strong.

Rework Your Open Houses

Open houses can be one of the most effective ways to introduce buyers and other Realtors® to your listed properties. In your 2015 real estate marketing, focus on giving these a special touch. Here are some ideas:

  • Set up special stations near key features of the home. Everyone understands that staging is a must if you want to sell a home quickly and efficiently. But making interactive stations near key features is a great way to draw special attention to them. Set up some snacks on the beautiful kitchen island, or put some cocoa or cookies near the focal-point fireplace. This will also give people a reason to linger in the most beautiful parts of the home.
  • Consider when you schedule your open houses. Weekend afternoons can be very busy, and many buyers will be working during weekday hours. Consider an evening open house during the week, or a late morning brunch on a weekend.
  • Advertise your open houses in unconventional places. Think about where your ideal buyers are likely to spend a lot of time. Is there a popular gym in the neighborhood? Are there online sites that appeal to that demographic? By using targeted advertising, you can get more of your ideal buyers through the door and increase your chance of selling the home quickly.

A new year doesn’t mean you eliminate everything you did last year to build your real estate business. However, it is a great opportunity to bring new focus to your work. These real estate marketing ideas will help you create personal connections of trust, increase referrals, and make your open houses more effective. Here’s wishing you a prosperous and successful 2015!!

Proof That Direct Mail Beats Email Marketing Hands Down!

Direct mail rates are on the rise for one reason and one reason only, it works. Direct mail is not only effective, but costs less per lead than email marketing, according to The Direct Mail Association.  It is estimated that approximately 48 billion dollars a year is spent on direct mail marketing. It is also expected to increase by 3.6% in the coming year because it pays higher dividends per dollar invested than email marketing.  I’m a huge fan of email marketing which is why this magazine is electronic and sent via email, but it’s hard to argue with statistics.

65% of direct mail recipients interviewed admitted responding to direct mail marketing and either engaging in business, or establishing a relationship that will lead to business. For real estate agents, that’s huge!  Add to it the fact that there is no competition at the mailbox these days, and you might find higher success rates.

 

 

Direct Mail Marketing infographic

Time Saving Tips and Tricks for Anyone Who Needs More Hours in the Day!

Time saving tips for RealtorsAs someone who is always looking to get more done in less time, I wanted to share some of my time saving strategies to help you get the most out of your precious time.

Create multiple email signatures for anything that is repetitive in your email communication. For example, I have an email signature file for everyday email communication. I also have one for media communication that includes all of my “bio” information. That way I don’t have retype it every single time I’m responding to a media request.

I also have a standard signature that goes out with all of our PrinterBees printing proofs, so when I’m sending a proof, I use the signature with the proof instructions all typed out so I don’t have to hunt for the verbiage every time.

Another example is when I’m sending something out relating to this magazine, I use my Real Estate Marketing Magazine (REMM) signature file. Using the REMM signature file helps with branding and recognition when an email is received by me from someone who may not recognize my name or PrinterBees.

Use a social media company like $99 Social to get your social media off your plate.  It’s a huge time-saving tip and it’s definitely worth the $99 to not have to worry about it.  They customize social media posts based on what you want and who you are trying to attract, and then post on your behalf. It’s a huge help! I LOVE $99 Social!

Pssst…I bet if you visit or follow my social media feeds, you can’t differentiate between what I post and what $99 Social posts. It’s one of my best kept secrets, and I’m happy to share.  Seriously…use them, you’ll be glad you did!

Use Buffer for scheduling social media. Set it and forget it. This is one of my biggest time saving tips that I use religiously to supplement what my social media company does for me.  I also like Buffer so I can schedule my posts for when I know people are more likely to be on social media.  Social media is far more active in the evening than during the day.  I don’t have time in the evening to be ON social media posting, so Buffer steps in and solves this problem for me.  I schedule my posts, and Buffer makes sure they go out.  One of their new services is to offer posting suggestions too, which is really helpful in staying active and consistent with social media.

Youmail: I LOVE my Youmail. It’s a voicemail service that sends an email to your inbox with the voicemail attached to easily listen to without having to login to anything. Checking voicemail is like checking email and it’s a huge time saving strategy for me. I also like that I can forward voicemails to my team via email with notes. It’s an amazing business tool!

Pssst…The “coolest” thing about Youmail is your ability to customize your voicemail greeting based on who calls.  It uses caller ID as a way to serve up different voicemail greetings based on who’s calling-it takes customer service to a whole new level!  When people call my cell phone and it’s my voice saying “Hi Tom, great to hear from you, I’m sorry I can’t take your call…”  It’s not an automated attendant, it’s an actual voicemail greeting you can record for any individual.  You aren’t required to have a custom greeting for everyone, and those without one will get your default greeting.

Now it’s your turn-what are some of your time saving tools or tips?  I’d love to hear from you.

The Shocking Truth about Postcard Marketing

If direct mail is one of the methods you use to market your real estate business, you’re going to appreciate this information. The Direct Marketing Association puts out a study every year about what type of marketing gets the best results as well as where you might be wasting your efforts.  With all of the hype about Internet marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization marketing, content marketing, etc., the results may surprise you.  And it was all researched, so it’s legit!

Get this….Direct mail marketing was named the most cost effective marketing medium, even over email marketing. It was also identified that postcard marketing is the most effective method of direct mail marketing, offering the highest response rates.

52% of postcards are read, as compared to 35% when the mailing piece is in a letter sized envelope. The study also showed that 34% of letter sized mailings were thrown out, compared to only 21% when the marketing medium was a postcard. It’s believed postcards are more effective for direct mail marketing then letter sized envelopes due to convenience for the person receiving it.

Postcard Marketing StatisticsAs someone who studies marketing, the most interesting part of the study for me was how effective direct-mail marketing is and how well it works. When people were asked about purchases made as a result of different types of marketing, direct mail marketing won, hands-down.  The study also showed that response rates to direct mail marketing increase as people get older.  When you combine that information with the fact that NAR (National Association of Realtors) recently reported the first-time home buyer is holding off longer and longer, it’s not the 20-year-olds that are buying houses, it’s people who are older and more likely to respond to direct-mail. NAR stated that the average age of people purchasing homes is 42.  Note: Direct mail came in overall at 65% vs. 66% for email, BUT when you look at the huge gap in response rates in the age group 18-24 (those who aren’t purchasing homes), it tips the scale towards direct mail over email for real estate marketing.

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 10.51.32 AMIf you think about it, it makes sense. There’s no longer any competition in the mailbox. That all changed when the economy shifted, coupled with the quick growth of the Internet. The clutter that was once in our mailboxes is now in our inboxes, competing for our attention.  The mailbox is where you need to be to get noticed.  Most everyone must check the mail that comes from the post office, however email and the Internet is optional, impersonal, and not everyone has it.

Coming up with a “junk mail email address” is easy, people are getting smarter and more creative about guarding their “real” email addresses, making it more difficult to reach them.

The only way to attract leads that result in business is to have a real estate marketing plan in place that’s consistent and ongoing. Marketing is like food to a business and without it your business will starve. There is tons of information on this site on how to get started and I’m always happy to answer any specific questions you have.  I’m on Twitter @remarketingguru or @nadinelarder

Also, PrinterBees caters to the real estate community and can help you get your postcard marketing campaign off the ground.  The agents who market their businesses with consistent postcard mailings, and drip marketing campaigns, are seeing consistent growth. You can experience the same-just stay committed!

 

Mastering The Art Follow-Up: How It Will Boost Your Business

I’ve had this article sitting in the queue for a while waiting for the perfect time to publish it and with the recent release of Word Of Mouse made it a perfect time. Word Of Mouse is a great new internet marketing book released this week that features PrinterBees and our award winning Internet marketing strategies. Don’t mean to brag, but it’s our follow-up that has earned us the recognition and I want to share with you how we do it.

Word of Mouse: 101+ Trends in How We Buy, Sell, Live, Learn, Work, and Play

As mentioned in the book, we put the person back in to our marketing, because it’s the people who work within PrinterBees that make the magic happen and our customers deserve the chance to meet and work with the people on the other end of the phone or email messages. Our client-centric approach to helping Realtors with their marketing is what made our marketing stand out. It’s “duplicatable” and has some key points you can implement in your business.

We have automated our follow-up to keep customers from falling through the cracks. We don’t ever forget to follow-up or drop the ball on following-up, because we don’t depend on our calendars, memory or otherwise to do it. We have systems that simply happen, they are automatic and they happen the same way with every potential client, every time, without fail. Not because we don’t care, but because we do! We want our prospects and clients to know we care, know we want to earn their business and that we follow-up. Each client is provided a central point of contact (with a photo), a direct number, a direct email address, and their own graphics designer to assist them with their marketing. There’s nothing insincere about our follow-up, because every word of it is absolutely sincere and comes from a person at PrinterBees, not PrinterBees. The bee is cute, but you can’t get real estate marketing help or build a business relationship with a bee!

We built our process by evaluating what our clients need from us. They need their time more than anything. A person’s time is the one thing they can never get back, so if we respect their time by answering all of the questions we know and can predict they are going to want answered, we’ve saved them a phone call, a visit to our site or an email. When every customer has the same question, it’s a clue and an opportunity to serve.

We found most new customers have the same few questions regarding their first order. As part of our automated follow-up process, our clients receive a personal introduction, along with what they can expect to happen within the next 24 hours. They didn’t have to call or email us, we’ve predicted the questions and answered them via email directly from the person assigned to their account. If the client has other questions, they can easily reply to the email from their direct contact at PrinterBees, not an unmanned and impersonal customer service email box. We meet the customer where they are, on their computer or mobile device, we don’t expect them to come to where we are and hunt us down. It’s as simple as wanting to make it as easy as possible to business with PrinterBees.

To begin to automate your own processes, think about what your customers need from you. Evaluate what is the same about every customer follow-up and what parts of that follow-up can be automated, then automate it! Most follow-up emails are pretty much identical, so don’t reinvent the wheel, figure out what it is you duplicate efforts on daily and automate it because you care enough about your customer to do so. Following-up makes you available where most others will fail to show-up, automating it simply makes sure you do it and don’t mess it up.

The second best way to experience the follow-up with PrinterBees is to register for a coupon on the website or request print samples. I dare you to reply to any of the automated emails you receive with a specific question and guarantee it will be answered by your direct contact. I can also promise that If I hadn’t told you that every one of the emails were automated you would have never known. The best way is to experience it as an actual customer. 😉

You can pick up the book at Amazon, Mark Petrosky is a New York Times best selling author and the book is filled with great insights about the Internet and where it’s headed.  Word of Mouse: 101+ Trends in How We Buy, Sell, Live, Learn, Work, and Play

Your Email Address Is Making Me Crazy!

Realtor email address . Realtor vanity nameI just glanced down at a business card sitting on my desk that belongs to a friend of mine and I wondered two things:

1) Why didn’t she order her business cards from PrinterBees?  This is a long-time friend and I can’t help but think how the quality would have been much better and the cost, likely much less.
2) Why does her email end with @sbcglobal.net??? Why??? Why?? Why!  It makes me crazy when I think of the risk to her business.

The PrinterBees part allows me to take a closer look at our marketing efforts. I clearly haven’t done an effective job of marketing to her because if I had, she would have either ordered business cards from PrinterBees or possibly dropped me a line as to why she didn’t, such as… “I have to use the in-house printing company…, I totally forgot you print! or the worst case scenario, I used “you bees” before and you suck (Oh NO!!!)”  Either way, the marketing was lacking and I will need to take a much closer look at my personal communication with my sphere of influence, see where there is an opportunity for change. Thankfully there’s always room for improvement.

It was the email part made me crazy! Please hear me Realtors®!!!! Do not allow the success of your business to be in the hands of an internet service provider that could go out of business or change hands tomorrow. Home internet access accounts don’t provide much in a way of guarantees with anything considered critical, these type of home accounts are not intended for business-use, therefore not mission critical.  When you build a business, a brand and a reputation with an email address that belongs to someone else, you’re building on quicksand.   I learned this first hand when I had an @home.net email address, which was changed to an @comcast.net address without my permission when Comcast bought @Home and it “totally sucked”!  I was so aggravated and completely powerless, I had built many business relationships and contacts with that email address and it negatively impacted my business.  I had no recourse because I agreed not to use the account for business when I signed up. (Ahhh..the fine print!)

Realtors® are in the business of long-term relationship building.  Many relationships are built over time and have a high level of trust based stability, consistency and longevity.  Having the same phone, fax and email address will go a long way in a profession where the opportunity to provide your services as a Realtor® happens only once every 3-7 years, on average.

In this digital age your email address is essential to people staying in contact with you, in many cases it’s the ONLY way people may know how to contact you.

Think about this….How will it impact my friend’s business if @sbcglobal.net goes away with or without warning? Her business card says heremail@sbcglobal.net and she’s given away thousands of them, not to mention all of the marketing materials she’s produced over the years.  What if she decides to relocate to an area where they don’t offer SBC Global as a service?  When I lived in California, I had Comcast as my provider, thankfully I didn’t use my @comcast.net email account like my husband who used it as his primary email address. When we moved to Arizona where Comcast doesn’t offer service, he no longer had access to that account and many people lost contact with him as a result.

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I have a friend who retired from one of the big real estate companies we all know by name after many… many… many years of service.  She had used the corporate email address a good portion of her career and she used it exclusively.   Still very active in real estate, but not as an agent, the company cut her email off because she was no longer an active agent for their company.  It’s reasonable from a corporate standpoint (potential liability and such), but completely unreasonable at the same time from her perspective and there wasn’t anything she could do because it’s their domain, therefore their property.  Her email address is their property.

Protect yourself and your business by owning your own domain. Make sure to read the article “How to avoid domain name disasters”, you’ll be glad you did before you buy that domain.

Always use an email address, fax number and phone number on your real estate marketing materials you own, that you set up personally and personally paid for. He or she with the log in and password is the owner in the eyes of the Internet, so make sure you register for these services yourself.  Treat the purchase of your domain name as you would the purchase of an important piece of property, because that’s exactly what it is when you build a business on it.  We use and recommend NameCheap for purchasing our domains, they have great pricing, great service and it really is hassle free, I’m a fan of hassle free.
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