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Great Pop-By Ideas for Summer

Summer Pop By Ideas

The weather is warm, the flowers are blooming, and people are outside. It’s the perfect time to prospect door to door! When you meet people at their home in their neighborhood, you have an opportunity to connect with them more deeply than you do on social media and email. There’s just nothing that replaces face-to-face interaction.

To encourage you all to reach out by doing pop-bys, I thought I would share a roundup of my favorite pop-by ideas for summer. Grab one of these or let the ideas spur your own creativity. As long as you get out there and meet folks, you win!

Summer BBQ Pop-By

This is one of my favorite ideas. You can buy a small BBQ set that includes that includes a spatula and a grilling fork for just a few dollars. Combine that with a free BBQ sauce recipe and your business card, and you’ve got the perfect way to start a conversation!

Just a quick tip in case it comes up – if you run into someone who does not eat meat, I’ve heard that romaine lettuce is incredible on the grill. As long as you hand out a BBQ sauce recipe, it can be used on anything, vegetables or meat! Don’t let anyone turn you down.

Get the Scoop!

Another extremely fun pop-by idea involves passing out ice cream scoops with a note attached. The note can say, “Want the scoop on the real estate market?” You can use a business card label to affix your business information to the back.

If you wanted to take it a step further, you can even hand out a printed real estate market report with the gift. Ice cream scoops are always handy, and they won’t get thrown away. It will give the homeowner a smile and give you a reason to talk about a bit more than the weather.

Stay Cool This Summer!

If there’s one thing that’s perfect for an area with kids, it’s popsicles. Even better are ice pops, the kind that you buy liquid in the package and then you freeze them. You can hand these out without fear that they will melt on you. With a tag that says, “Stay cool the summer!” and your business card label on the back, it’s a great way to connect.

You can buy enormous boxes of ice pops at warehouse stores or even Walmart, and once you divided it up with 2 – 4 pops per house, it’s a very affordable pop-by gift! If your farm area has a lot of families, this could be the perfect summer pop-by.

Just Planting a Seed!

This pop-by gift is a fun and playful way of reminding folks to send referrals your way. You can get a small garden tool or two or some inexpensive gardening gloves. Combine this with a seed packet of flowers that are easy to care for and a small note. The note can say, “Just planting a seed… let me know if you or your friends need help with real estate this summer!” On the back, place a business card label.

This pop-by idea does not need to be expensive or complex. You could even just do a packet of seeds with the note. However, the more unique and fun you make it, the more memorable you will be. And that fun memory will help them think of you when someone needs to buy or sell a home!

As you can see, pop-bys can be simple and lighthearted. We all get nervous meeting people in an area we don’t know very well, but if you do pop-bys every season you will get to know the residents in the neighborhood. After a couple of seasons, they might be excited to see you and invite you in!

If you’re ready to move forward with a fun pop-by idea, don’t forget to get some business card labels. These stickers make it easy to include your business card with any note that you hand out. Visit our site to choose yours today!

How to Build a Real Estate Direct Mailing List

Build a Real Estate Direct Mailing List

Spring is one of the BEST times of year! Not only is it finally warmer and sunnier in much of the US, but it’s also the ramp-up to the most productive and fun time of year in real estate.

One thing you should be thinking about – ALL year, but especially now – is how to market to your target real estate market. People are thinking about buying and selling, and YOU want to be on their radar!

Many Realtors® purchase a real estate direct mail list, and that’s certainly one avenue. But this article is specifically about how to reach out through the mail outside of purchasing a list.

Build Your List with Freebies

Most business owners, including Realtors®, are very familiar with the idea of building an email list by offering a free resource. In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

  • You create a high-value free report or giveaway
  • You offer it in return for a prospect’s email address
  • The enter their email address, it goes on your list, and they get the free report

You can use this same technique to build a physical mailing list. The key is to offer a physical freebie. It can be a physical copy of a report, a small book, a CD of useful information, and more.

You could also go a different direction and hold a contest to give away a physical prize. When the prize has to be mailed or delivered, it makes sense for you to ask for everyone’s address!

Build Your List with Known Contacts

Realtors® can always start with a mailing list based on who they already know. Reach out to your circle of influence with a simple, “Hey I’m updating my address book. Can you please send me your physical address?”

You can also ask for referrals, including addresses, of folks they know from work/school/the gym that have talked about moving lately. Don’t just ask “Do you know anyone,” because that’s too broad. Add a location, and you’ll get better results.

Of course, if you post this on social media, ask for them to use a direct message so the information doesn’t go to people they don’t know.

Skip the List and Use EDDM

Every Door Direct Mail, or EDDM, is a great workaround when it comes to list building. Because people move so often, it may be hard to keep your direct mail list “clean” unless you spend time on it every year.

A great alternative is to let the post office do it for you. With specialized EDDM postcards, you can reach out to an entire zip code or geographical area with your marketing. This can be done very inexpensively, and you don’t need any addresses!

I’ve talked before about how incredible EDDM is for Realtors®, and the price as of April 2017 is only 17.7¢ per piece!

Take Advantage of Direct Mail Marketing

However you choose to build your list, it’s vital to take advantage of direct mail marketing. There’s a lot of focus right now on email marketing and social media marketing, and I’m not opposed to either one of those.

However, you stand out a LOT more in the mailbox than in the inbox.

 I can’t even tell you how much email spam I get every day. But I promise I get less direct mail marketing in a day than I do email marketing in a single hour. Use this to your advantage by building a high-quality direct mail marketing list and using it!

If you’re ready to get consistent about your farming and outreach, take a look at our farming postcards and EDDM postcards. Both can help you connect with your target market on a regular basis.

Don’t have time to mail them? We get it! At Printerbees, we can take care of mailing it for you for a small additional fee. No more money wasted on postcards that just sit around your office! Contact us today for more information.

5 Ways to Develop Relationships in Your Target Neighborhood

Building Relationships

As a REALTOR®, marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Whereas most businesses cultivate a name or a brand, a REALTOR® is both the name and the brand. In essence, promoting your business means promoting yourself and your services in a particular market area.

So how do you promote yourself and make meaningful connections in your target neighborhood? It may sound difficult, but there are several ways you can do it. Here are five methods for cultivating effective relationships in a target neighborhood:

  1. Put Social Media to Work for You

I’ve talked a lot about how social media can make a difference in your real estate marketing. With one in two American adults on Facebook, social media should be a key component of your marketing efforts.

Some Realtors® are hesitant to engage in social media because they are concerned about appearing too informal, or they simply don’t know what to say. It’s important to remember the “social” side of social media. In other words, you can achieve great success by simply being yourself, as well as providing information that is interesting and valuable to your target audience.

People like to feel proud of their community. Join Facebook groups focused on specific communities and neighborhoods, and then tap into the sentiment by sharing photos of the neighborhood and relating personal stories of your interactions with community members. You might also consider posting content that is entertaining or useful, such as “10 Tips for Spring Cleaning” or “Where to Find a Pet Sitter.”

  1. Invest in the Community

This doesn’t mean you need to buy a home in the neighborhood – although if you already live there, it’s a great start! Ultimately, real estate is about people, not property. Consider investing your time in local programs or service organizations. Many communities have civic organizations that need regular volunteers. Show families and individuals in the neighborhood you care about the area and its residents – and gain some great exposure for yourself and your business in the process. Offer to plant flowers around an intersection that could use some beautifying, or donate some items to a bake sale. Even a little effort will pay off down the road.

  1. Consider Predictive Analytics

According to REALTOR® Magazine, predictive analytics is a powerful new spin on traditional door-to-door marketing. Rather than wasting valuable hours – and the soles of your shoes – knocking on doors at random, you can tap into a stream of data designed to predict which properties are likely to hit the market in upcoming months.

Predictive analytics uses computer algorithms to compile data from numerous sources, track trends, and assess the likelihood of a future sale. There are several companies and apps that have developed algorithms that scour sale records, auditor records, mortgage loan records, delinquencies, and tax records for information – something made possible by the digitization of many county and state public records.

Although it is possible to compile these records yourself and track trends without the help of a third party app, data-crunching demands time – time you need to make personal connections with potential sellers. Armed with this valuable data, you can focus your door-to-door efforts on homeowners likely to enter the market in the near future.

  1. Stay in Touch with Past Clients

You have made a sale, negotiated the closing, and sent your client a thoughtful housewarming gift. However, your work is not done. As all REALTORS® know, referrals are an important source of future business. In 2014, 40% of all buyers chose to work with an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative.

Whether you represent a buyer moving into a target neighborhood or a seller moving out, be sure to stay in touch long after the sale is final and the moving trucks have left.

There are several ways to do this. Many agents send holiday or birthday cards, and include past clients on their newsletter mailing lists. Most people put down roots in their community – even if they move away, they maintain connections in their old neighborhood. You never know when a past client will recommend you to a friend, family member, or work colleague looking to buy or sell in the same area.

  1. Build a Business Referral Network

Local businesses are the backbone of any community’s economy. Residents rely on these businesses to provide services and products. In turn, businesses thrive when people perceive them as trustworthy and reliable. As a REALTOR®, you can become part of this network of providers by building relationships with your fellow local businesses.

Getting started is much easier than you might think. Real estate clients may rely on their agents to recommend everything from landscapers to a good pizza place. If a business serves your target neighborhood, there is a good chance your clients will patronize it. Reach out to these business owners and ask about establishing a referral relationship.

Making It Work

Growing your business can be tough. With persistence and a firm commitment to making personal connections in your target neighborhood, however, your real estate business will benefit both now and down the road. These five tips will help you build the relationships you need to be successful.

What steps have been key to building relationships in your target neighborhood? Share in the comments!

 

5 Ways to Find High Income Leads Using LinkedIn

High Income Prospects on LinkedIn

Did you know that 49% of LinkedIn users have incomes over $100,000? This makes them great, likely well-qualified leads – much more likely than your average American to be looking for high-value properties, and much more likely to qualify for the loans needed for those properties.

There are good ways and not-so-good ways to go about connecting with people on LinkedIn. You can join a group that is located in your geographic area and start cold-messaging people, but that route will have a lot of work with little reward. You also may have to be a bit less than honest to convince people to connect with you without actually knowing you, and I never recommend that.

There are some better ways to find high-income leads using LinkedIn. Here are five ideas to get you started:

Create a Great Profile

Anyone who’s interested in connecting with you will start by viewing your profile. You want to make sure your picture is professional, your purpose is clearly stated, your tagline is prominent, and your website link is included. All of these things help visitors connect with you and invites them to learn more.

There’s a bit of an art to crafting a great LinkedIn profile, so don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Make sure to use specific keywords related to real estate and your geographical area, so that people doing searches like “city real estate” and other similar terms find your name. In addition, you may want to freshen up your profile every few months to take advantage of new keywords or update your pitch.

Comment In Groups

I mentioned that cold-messaging people was not very fruitful at best, and a tad shady at worst. Instead, join a group that is related to your demographic area, or a group that focuses on an interest you have. When you share relevant information in the groups on a regular basis, you’ll become known to the people in there. You’ll develop a reputation as someone who is knowledgeable and professional.

Over time, you’ll develop very logical, good reasons to ask for connections with these people. Once you’re connected with them, they will be able to see the information you share on your profile and the articles you post. You’ll also get visits to your website from people you get to know. Once you’re connected with someone, you can also direct-message them and they’ll be much more receptive. Start with information they’ll find helpful, and over time find ways to offer your services and ask for referrals.

Visit Profiles

Each week LinkedIn Members are sent a list of the people that viewed their profile. When you visit profiles regularly, you can show up on that list. Unless you pay for a premium membership, you may not be able to see very much information. But you should still be listed as a visitor in their weekly list.

One way to find relevant profiles to view is to begin looking at profiles of active members of groups you join. Not only does this put your face in front of them each week, it may also help you understand more about them so you can build your relationships more authentically within the group. You can also do an advanced search and view profiles of people who live in a specific zip code. This way, your name and face will appear on the weekly notification for people in your farm area, which may prompt them to try to connect with you!

Write Useful Posts

Any member of LinkedIn is able to share posts, photos, and updates with their followers. By keeping your content flowing, you’ll not only establish yourself as an expert, but you’ll keep your face and name at the top of their news feed. It’s important to keep content high-quality while also sharing often.

The most effective way to do this is to repurpose other posts. For instance, there’s nothing wrong with writing a blog post and then sharing it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Bufferapp is a great tool for making these kinds of updates quick and easy.

Keep Connecting

Your connections will add new connections every day, so there will be a lot of new 2nd level contacts in your list on a regular basis. View their profiles, get to know them, and reach out if appropriate. If you find that a lot of people in your targeted geographical area belong to a specific LinkedIn Group, join that group! Find useful things to say.

Being on LinkedIn, like any other social network, requires building relationships and building trust. Yes, you can spam. You can buy programs that will send fake visits to people’s profiles. You can direct message people you don’t know and pretend you’re new and lost. While those things may bring a few connections, they won’t bring the authenticity and trust you need for people to trust you with a real estate transaction.

Instead, take time to really connect. Have a great profile. Join groups related to your farm area and share. Cross-post blog posts and social media updates. Use advanced search to find more people in your area and see how you can connect with them. When these efforts pay off, you’ll have a lot of well-qualified, high income prospects ready to work with you.

Do you use LinkedIn for prospecting? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

Does Your Marketing Convert? It’s in the Words…

Sales Words for Real Estate

Putting a lot of effort into farming, email marketing, and social media is an important part of lead generation. You want to attract attention, get leads, and convert those leads into sales. However, many Realtors® get lost when it comes to exactly what to say.

You want to spin words that are convincing, educational, helpful, and build relationships with your prospects. You want them to trust you and reach out to you when it’s time to buy or sell. But how do you actually do that other than hiring a professional copywriter? Here are three keys to help your marketing convert.

Play to Emotions

Everyone likes to think their decisions are rational, but they really aren’t at all. Generally, humans make decisions based on emotion, and then justify that decision using reason. As a result, marketing that reaches to the emotional level is the marketing that will convert.

Make a list for yourself of the common emotions that homebuyers face. Make a separate list of the emotions home sellers face. Some ideas include fear, uncertainty, the desire to make the right investment, the desire to have a great-looking home, wanting to show off to friends or family, the desire to sell quickly, and greed (to buy or sell at maximum benefit to themselves).

Some emotions will be on both lists, but you will have better results if you divide one client type from another. As a Realtor®, you’ll have a number of messages – some should target specifically sellers, and others specifically buyers. Once you have your emotion lists, craft your farming, email, and social media outreaches to touch those emotions and position yourself as the way to achieving success.

Invite Rather Than Sell

Everyone likes to buy, but everyone hates to be sold. Rather than trying to pitch yourself with a hard sell through your marketing, try this: invite the prospect to join you on the journey to fulfilling their emotional desires (see above). Position yourself as the one that can show them how to feel secure, calm, wealthy, or successful. Invite them to join you.

When your copywriting does this, you’ll avoid a lot of the defensiveness that prospects have toward Realtors®. You’ll be talking about their needs instead of yours. And when you do a great job showing them that working with you is the best way for their emotional desires to be met, they won’t fight you on commission. You’re competing on a whole different level than price.

When you position your marketing as an invitation, you’ll also get prospects who are more serious. When you badger someone, or make them feel guilty, or engage in a hard sell, some people will say yes simply because they can’t say no. These are not the clients you want. You are looking for engaged, motivated clients – when you issue an invitation, those who say yes are the ones ready to get started today.

Use a Call to Action EVERY Time

Once a prospect has read your piece, what should they do next? If you don’t tell them, they’ll likely just throw your postcard or email away and move on with their lives. Instead, make sure to include a call to action every time. This means inviting them to take action on what they’ve read – either to read more, comment, share, or contact you.

Keep in mind that not every call to action will be to a sale! Many times you’re nurturing your prospects along, and you just need them to interact with you in some way. Have them reply to the email, leave a comment, or share something with their Facebook friends. Invite them to visit your website or enter a drawing or contest. These are all legitimate calls to action.

Of course, there are plenty of times when you should invite them for a sale. In that case, be sure to include urgency. “Contact me today – this home will sell quickly!” or “Let’s talk today to get your home sold now!” You’ll know your clients and their trigger words better than I do, of course, but these are examples. The basic principle is, use a call to action EVERY time, whether a sale or not. Always keep your prospects engaged with you.

You don’t have to be a professional copywriter to sell homes, but understanding the basics of why certain words and phrases sell is essential to your business. Draw on people’s emotions, invite them to work with you, and use a call to action every time. Your conversions will increase and you’ll get much more bang for your marketing buck.

If you need help crafting perfect marketing materials, Printerbees is always here to help. Let me know what I can do for you!

By The Numbers: Where Focus to Find Seller Leads

House for Sale

In real estate, listings might just be a teeny-tiny bit important. Like, majorly essential for our survival. As a result, it pays to know where to find seller leads. In the 2014 National Associate of Realtors (NAR) survey, they asked recent sellers how they found their agent. The results may surprise you.

22% of Sellers Used an Agent They Worked With Previously

This is significantly higher than the result for buyers, which surprised me. It pays to stay in touch with your previous clients as seller leads. The average seller lived in their home for 10 years, however, so you may face a long nurturing process.

The higher sense of loyalty that sellers have might speak to the fact that they are more motivated to get a quick, positive outcome. While some home buyers are willing to take months to look around for the “perfect” home, sellers are often on a specific time schedule. Thus, someone they’ve worked with before, who they know will deliver great results, makes sense.

38% of Sellers Used an Agent They Found Through a Referral

Referrals are a major source of seller leads as well as buyer leads, which is not a surprise to most agents. Once again, sellers are motivated to have a quick, efficient transaction and get top dollar on their homes. They are going to look for someone they trust to give them information on who the best agent would be.

Nurturing referrals has as much to do with making new friends as it does with staying connected with old clients. Folks you meet in your day to day life may not be looking to move right now, but they may know someone who is. As you add additional people to your circle of influence, ask them for referrals even if you only know them casually. Someone who trusts them may be looking for a good recommendation.

40% of Sellers Chose an Agent “Cold”

Once again I found myself surprised that this is the largest category. It goes to show that farming, contacting expireds and FSBOs, and other marketing efforts are not going to waste! The most significant outreach you can make is to someone who’s never worked with you or been referred to you.

Sellers are even less choosy than buyers when it comes to selecting agents – 70% of them only contact one agent before choosing who they will list with. This may have to do with the time-based element of a sale – if they are looking to list, they may already have another home, or have a job transfer with a specific deadline.

The takeaways from the seller profile are similar to the buyers. Your cold outreach is the most effective, followed by referrals. Don’t be shy – ask everyone if they know anyone who is buying or selling a home. For sellers specifically, understand that if your presentation is effective, they likely won’t interview another agent. Focus on their time sensitivity and your professional effectiveness to close the deal.

Did the seller statistics surprise you? Share in the comments!

5 Ways to Generate New Leads This Fall

Fall Marketing for Realtors

In many parts of the country, leaves are changing and weather is getting chillier. This transition means that we’re getting ready to leave behind the summer busyness and move into a new season. Many Realtors® find winter to be an extremely slow season, so it’s important to take advantage of the fall to get new leads. Here are five ideas you can use.

Feed Off Sports Mania

Depending on where you live, you may be moving into one of the most active sports seasons of the year. Americans around the country love football, and in some areas of the country college football is almost a religion. Feed off of this sports enthusiasm to generate leads. Buy a couple of tickets to a local, popular game – maybe a rivalry game – and do a free drawing for winners. The only condition is that people fill out their name, address, and phone number to enter.

Then, once you have dozens and dozens of new leads, be sure to follow up!! If you follow up in a timely manner, you’ll still be fresh in their minds and they’ll be more receptive to what you have to say. You can call or visit these leads, and ask them whether they are looking to buy or sell, or know someone who is.

Sponsor a Food Drive

As you come near Thanksgiving and the other holidays, people begin to think more about the less fortunate around us. This is a great time to do a fall food drive at your office or in partnership with a local food bank or community center. You can hand out your cards, or even do a drawing at the time you accept the donations.

If you simply hand out cards, give folks a reason to follow up. You can tell them there are free resources to download on your site (in exchange for their information, of course). In fact, you can even use your smart phone to get their information and email them the freebie on the spot!!

Visit Garage Sales

Throughout the summer and fall, visiting garage sales can help you connect with homeowners as they prepare to move. This is a great way to get leads. If they already have an agent, you may be able to bring buyers and get part of the sale.

Even if you find that the homeowners are just organizing or trying to get rid of extra belongings, you can start a relationship that could lead to business or referrals down the road. Having an online freebie available about organizing or decorating your home can help you get their contact information right away, even if they’re not moving right now.

Hold a Fall Party

People love parties, and fall is a really fun time to have one. Whether you choose to have bobbing for apples and pumpkin bars or have a costume party around Halloween, a fall party is a great way to bring your neighborhood together and build your brand.

As you mix through the party, strike up conversations and get to know your target market. It’s a great low-pressure way to build relationships, and you may discover some folks getting ready to sell before winter hits.

Use Holidays as Ways to Connect

Between daylight savings, Veteran’s Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, there are a lot of fall holidays that give you a reason to reach out to your prospects. If you have a neighborhood that you farm, consider sending seasonal postcards once or twice this fall to get your name in their mind. (If you don’t have a farm, this is a good time to start!!)

When you send out farming postcards, seasonal mailers, or email relevant community information, you’re building your credibility as an expert on the area while also keep your name in front of prospects. Again, a giveaway or raffle slip included in the mailing is a great way to encourage people to send you more information and build a connection.

Fall marks a transition into the real estate off-season, but that doesn’t mean you should curtail your efforts. Instead, focus on getting those buyers and sellers who are looking to move before bad weather hits, and take time to build up your farm and your email nurture lists so you can stay in touch this winter.

How do you use fall to get extra leads? Share in the comments!

3 Essential Marketing Truths for Real Estate

Three Truths of Real Estate Marketing

When you get into this business, it can be very overwhelming. You can feel like you’ve got tons of tactics, rumors, and ideas about marketing flying around your head, but you don’t know what to grab on to. As a result, many new agents get paralyzed and do very little.

Even Realtors® who have been in this business a long time are susceptible to similar overload. The online marketplace has brought dozens of new platforms and “must do” marketing tactics. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and either ignore online marketing or do a little bit, and badly.

Obviously, neither of these scenarios is a path to success. Many times it helps to step back and remember the principles that transcend platforms, technology, or rumors. Here are the three essential marketing truths for real estate.

Inconsistent Follow-up DOESN’T WORK

This is absolutely true ALL of the time, whether you’re talking about door-knocking, email, or social media. If you’re not consistent in your marketing, you’re not going to win the sale. Prospects need to see your face over and over before they feel the sense of trust needed to work with you on the biggest investment they’ll probably ever make.

In the book Millionaire Real Estate Agent, the Gary Keller advocates 33 touches per year for prospects in your database. He writes that for every 12 people you touch 33 times, you can expect two sales. How many people have you had 33 contacts with in the last year?

Keeping your follow-up consistent can be time consuming. That’s why I advocate marketing automation so often. I personally use Infusionsoft, and I’ve seen revenues increase 472% without increasing staff headcount at all.

Personalized Follow-up Matters

When I tout the benefits of automation, don’t get confused and think I mean “depersonalized follow-up”. In fact, personalized follow-up is essential in any marketing, especially real estate.

Buyers and sellers want to know that they, specifically, are important to you. If you treat them like a number, they’ll treat you like a number – and demand more for less. But if you treat them like a person, providing full-service real estate assistance, they won’t worry about the numbers – they’ll be so impressed by your professionalism that they’ll be happy to pay your commission.

When using marketing automation, personalizing your responses is important. That means a lot more than just making sure the email includes their name. It also means that you build systems that send different responses based on how your prospects act: whether they click a link, download a report, or don’t do anything at all. If that sounds complex, consider a service like GetUSales, who has specific automation packages for real estate agents where all of your systems are built for you. It makes it simple to implement marketing automation straight out of the box.

Combining Multiple Platforms Brings the Best Results

Too many people get hung up on the newest marketing platform. Unfortunately, that means that their other marketing efforts get abandoned. It’s not worth it to chase the new, shiny social media outlet – they never end! Instead, focus on your best platforms and stay consistent.

The best mix of platforms include in-person, traditional mail, and online outreaches. Taking advantage of open-house visitors, participating in community events, and hosting holiday parties are great in-person ideas. Traditional postcards and Every Door Direct Mail are great ways to farm an area – when done consistently, of course. And online, there are a host of social media platforms. Focus on one or two, as your time allows.

Successful Realtors® know that it takes multiple types of outreach to bring good results in real estate marketing, but they don’t allow themselves to get bogged down by doing too much. Instead, they choose a simple mix of online and offline efforts that allow them to maximize their time and return on investment.

With all the excitement, rumors, new platforms, and new marketing ideas that come out each day, it can be helpful to remember the basics. The three essential marketing truths of real estate are: 1) Inconsistent follow-up doesn’t work. 2) Personalized follow-up matters, and 3) Combining multiple platforms brings the best results.

How are you going to put those truths to work for you today? Share in the comments!

How to Blanket Your Farm for 18.3¢ Per Piece

EDDM Every Door Direct MailA few years ago, the US Postal Service was spending a lot of energy advertising a service that is absolutely perfect for Realtors®. The service, called Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), allows you to blanket an entire carrier route with postcards for only 18.3¢ per piece – without a mailing list!

Since it’s been awhile, EDDM has fallen off of many Realtors®’ radar. That’s a shame, considering how affordable and helpful the program is!!

Benefits of EDDM

Real estate is a business where you want to target whole neighborhoods. Your target market is defined not by demographics, but by location. As a result, a carrier route mailing is absolutely perfect for Realtors®.

Generally in order to do business mailings, you have to get an expensive postage permit. With EDDM, you only need a small indica, or stamp that indicates it’s a bulk mailing. These are included when you order EDDM mailings.

The benefits of getting to farm your area for far less money seems obvious, but don’t just take it from me. A few years ago Hubspot published a blog post claiming that direct mail was a sham and inbound marketing was the only way to go. Here’s what one commenter said in response:

Garland

3/22/2012, 9:52:05 AM

I have to agree to disagree on this blog. As a small business (photography studio), the largest percentage of our customers come from our direct mail. With most business jumping on the digital band wagon, a well done piece received in the mail at a time when the only other “junk mail” received are credit card applications, will not just generate leads but actual customers that pay for our services. A lead is good, a paying client is better.

Notice what she said – because so many businesses are going digital, EDDM actually works BETTER! If that’s how it works for a photography studio, can you imagine how it can work for Realtors®? Actually, you don’t have to imagine. See what these Realtors® have said about EDDM on a popular real estate blogging site, ActiveRain:

mteam01, Arlington, TX Real Estate Agent

We have been using every door direct for several months now and have had great results. Cost is very affordable. We send out just listed and just sold through every door direct. We have had great results. We are able to reach a lot more homes due to the cost being a lot less than having a company do them for us. We are starting to use them even more with newsletters and whatever else we can send to stay in front of people. It is a little time consuming going to each area post office but well worth with the end results.

Housepat, Washington, DC Real Estate Agent

I started using Every Door Direct Mail earlier this year for delivery of my monthly newsletter to my farm. It is hyper-local and I write it myself. It deals with issues and events of concern to this one neighborhood. It’s been a huge success. The best part of all, it almost always arrives within a day or two of my dropping it off at the post office. I am a raving fan of this service.

If you’re interested in ordering well-designed EDDM mailings that are guaranteed to match the USPS specifications, Printerbees would be happy to help. Check out our selection of customizable EDDM mailings!

How to Take Advantage of EDDM

EDDM is a great way to make sure your entire farm area receives mailings from you regularly. You select your carrier routes using the USPS Every Door Direct Mail route search online. Enter a zip code, then use your mouse to roll over each route. The top of the viewer window will give you the statistics of the route, and you can click to select it.

Once you have selected your routes, log in to your USPS account (or create one for free – it only takes a couple minutes). You’ll select the date you’ll drop off your mailings at the post office and choose your payment options. You’ll need to mail a minimum of 200 pieces, but no more than 5,000, per day.

It’s important to note that the postcard mailings must be within a certain size range. Fortunately, this range is large – up to 15 inches long and 12 inches high, as long as it doesn’t weigh more than 3.3 ounces. The paper must at least be as thick as card-stock, and no thicker than 0.75 inches.

You’ll need to print out the mailing statement that USPS gives you once you select your routes and finalize payment. You’ll also need to bundle your mailing – bundles of 50 to 100 are recommended – with facing slips on each bundle which you can print for free online.

Either drop off or mail them to the post office local to the route, which will be listed on your mailing statement. Make your payment if you didn’t already, and you’re done!

Using EDDM is a no-brainer for Realtors®. It’s the most cost-effective farming method available, and you have a lot of flexibility in terms of what you send. Whether you want to send a large postcard or a neighborhood newsletter, EDDM lets you stay front-of-mind in your farm with much lower costs than other methods. Let us help you get your first mailing out today!

Do you use EDDM? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

What Real Estate Marketing and Home Ownership Have in Common

Real Estate Marketing as an Asset

Lots of Realtors® really don’t like marketing. It’s a necessary evil. It’s confusing, it’s hard, and it’s expensive. In fact, most Realtors® would be happy if they could eliminate marketing from their budget and their business entirely.

But what if you thought about it differently? What if, instead of seeing marketing as an annoyance that drains your time and money, you understood it as an asset that you’re building into your business?

What Marketing and Homes Have in Common

The way that Realtors® view marketing and the way young adults in America view home ownership have a lot in common. While once buying a home was an honor and an accomplishment, that time is long gone. Buying a home is often necessary, but young adults dread the time, expense, and uncertainty that come with it.

Why? Because home ownership is no longer the guaranteed ever-increasing asset it once was. Home values don’t always go up. Poor economic results can result in failure even if you do everything right. And homes are expensive, requiring a lot of time and money over time, beyond the initial purchase.

Are they worth it anyway?

As a Realtor®, you’d probably say yes. You’d encourage your hesitant clients to realize the many benefits of home ownership. The freedom to have your own space. The freedom to renovate as needed. Being able to have pets. And yes, the high likelihood that over time, your home will be worth more than you put into it.

You can look at the benefits of marketing in the same way. Why is it better to own your own marketing strategy rather than renting from your brokerage? Think about the freedoms you have when you own your own web space and outreach program. You can change it as needed, to fit exactly what you need. And most of all, there is a high likelihood that over time, your marketing will be worth far more than what you put into it.

Making Sure Your Marketing is an Asset and Not an Expense

Just like owning a home, your marketing strategy requires some investment to ensure it becomes an asset to your business. If you simply pay for the same things everyone else pays for, but do nothing with it, you will in fact be wasting your money – just like someone who buys items to repair a home but doesn’t actually complete the repair.

On the other hand, if you invest wisely with your money, and focus on taking action on the things you purchase, you’ll see far more results than many of those around you. In fact, you’ll be able to do much more while spending less money.

If you avoid spending money or time on your marketing, or if you spend money but don’t invest the action necessary to make the most of it, your marketing will continue to be a drag. However, if you invest in the right type of marketing for you and your market, you’ll find that owning your marketing strategy is a major asset for your business and you’ll never go back to renting again.

The best real estate marketing strategies are a mix of online and offline work. Farming an area consistently, learning about your market over time, asking for referrals, using social media, and connect with buyers through email are all essential. When you own those methods yourself, you can fit them to you and your market just like you make a home your own. And when you realize your marketing is an asset, not a necessary evil expense, you’ll see your business grow consistently over time.

Do you struggle to see your marketing as an asset? Why? Share in the comments!