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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!

 

Don’t Lose Marketing Momentum this Summer

Marketing Momentum in Summer

It’s summer, and that means that most Realtors® are very busy. It’s easy to leave behind your marketing efforts during the summer, especially when you feel you’re overwhelmed with clients as it is. However, the only way to still have clients and active leads in the fall, winter, and spring is to stay consistent with your marketing efforts every summer.

Pay “Mark” First

Keeping a consistent budget is important in any business, including real estate. Your budget should include a specific amount for marketing every month. If nothing else happens, be sure to pay your marketing budget – “Mark” – every month. It’s the only way your business can stay healthy year-round.

Maintain Your Farming Efforts

I know you’re busy with clients, but you want to make sure you maintain your farming efforts. For farming to be effective, it has to be consistent over time. Fortunately, this can be done fairly quickly once your mailing list is set up. Summer is the most important season to stay visible in your farm, since it’s the time of year people are most likely to buy or sell a home. If you’re tired of the feast-or-famine cycle of real estate, keep your farming efforts consistent with postcards and fliers during the summer.

Keep Websites Up to Date

As you work with clients each day, don’t forget to keep your website updated with recent listings and “just sold” testimonials. You may be very busy, but clients are still looking online for real estate assistance, and you want to make sure your site stays fresh and active. Keep pictures current, and especially make sure that you keep your listings updated, so someone doesn’t try to view a home that’s already sold!

Ask Clients to Post Reviews

As you build up another batch of satisfied customers this summer, ask them to leave online reviews for you on your website or on real estate portals. Having happy client reviews that are very recent will do a lot for you in terms of attracting new customers.

Keep Up Your Email Marketing Efforts

Writing dozens of emails is probably the last thing you have time to do this summer, but remember that an automated email marketing program can do all the hard work for you. You just set it up, and it can automatically follow up with leads on a specific schedule while you focus on the client that’s in your office today.

Recognize Holidays in Your Marketing

We have a variety of holidays throughout the year that give you ready-made reasons to reach out. A Fourth of July postcard in late June can be a seasonal, easy way to connect with your leads and prospects without taking a lot of your time or effort. Mother’s Day, Flag Day, and Father’s Day are other well-known summer holidays, and there are likely local fairs and festivals in your area that you can use as outreach opportunities.

Many Realtors® find themselves in a feast-or-famine cycle of being busy during the summer and very slow at other times of year. Much of the time, this is related to the fact that they market regularly all year, except during the summer. So take some time to “pay Mark” – get some postcards, some fliers, and spruce up your email campaigns. In the fall, you’ll be glad you did.

What makes it hard for you to keep your marketing momentum in the summer? Share in the comments!

Why Buyer’s Agents Need to Farm

Farming for Buyer's Agents

As a buyer’s agent, you may think that farming is just for listers. It’s easy to feel that you don’t need to farm a neighborhood because you’re looking for people moving in, not listings of people moving out.

Unfortunately, you’re losing out on key buyers when you hold this attitude. Farming an area is a way to make yourself known, not just with those looking to list, but with those looking to purchase as well. Here are five benefits of farming as a buyer’s agent.

Referrals

Referrals are the life-blood of real estate, and how can people refer you if they don’t know who you are? When you build yourself up as an expert in a particular area, anyone who knows someone looking to buy in that area will be inclined to refer you. If, instead, you’re more of a “one off” agent for whoever you stumble across, your referrals will be inconsistent at best. As you know, inconsistent referrals are not the recipe for success in real estate.

Farm Signs Bring Buyers

If this is something you can do in your area, take advantage of it! By setting up farm signs in a neighborhood, anyone doing a drive-through or looking around the area will see your name and smiling face. This will get you far more calls from buyers interested in the area than contacting cold leads and hoping for the best. Take advantage of the fact that many interested buyers drive through a neighborhood looking for available properties long before they contact an agent.

Neighborhood Expertise

When you farm a neighborhood, you really become an expert. You know what’s going on the area, fun things to do, fairs, festivals, and more. When you show homes in that target area, you can be a fountain of information for potential homeowners. Not only will the buyer be more likely to buy in an area they now know all the bonuses of, they will be much more likely to refer you as a knowledgeable agent to others. You’ll be able to sell the neighborhood, not just the house, and gain credibility as a result.

Listings Bring Buyers

I know this article is aimed at buyer’s agents, but one think can’t be denied – listings bring calls from buyers. Having your sign in a yard lets people know that you’re active in an area, and gives them a reminder to call you if they’re looking to move. If you don’t want to do listings yourself, consider partnering with a listing agent and having both of your names on the sign. That way, they can handle the listing, you can handle buyers that call you (about that property or others), and you’ll both be happy.

Farming isn’t just for agents looking for listings, although it’s often portrayed that way. Farming is an excellent way to build name recognition, get referrals, get calls from farming signs, and gain neighborhood expertise. You can even partner with a listing agent to bring your lead generation to a whole new level.

Do you farm as a buyer’s agent? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

The Four Most Effective Real Estate Marketing Strategies

Real Estate Marketing StrategiesIn real estate, there are dozens of strategies available. It can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, there are some that are tried-and-true real estate marketing strategies that you can employ simply and consistently. Here are the four most effective real estate marketing strategies and how to implement them to your best advantage.

Farming a Neighborhood

Although this real estate marketing strategy requires time to work, the returns are amazing. I recommend this strategy for every agent – and stick with it! Start by choosing the neighborhood where you want to excel. Then, take the following steps to obtain maximum results from your efforts.

  • Research the area, including sports team affiliations, where the residents tend to work (do they commute downtown?), family profile (lots of children? Retirees?) and more.
  • Once you know the area well, consider sending an introduction letter with some materials about your brokerage and practice. Include some key real estate information about the area, like market reports and a neighborhood profile.
  • Finally, follow up with a consistent outreach program. Consider sending weekly materials for a couple of months, followed by an ongoing monthly newsletter, postcard, or other information.

These efforts will keep you top of mind to homeowners in the area. In addition to mailings, make yourself physically present in the neighborhood as much as you can. Walk your dog there, go to community events, and even shop in the area occasionally. The more they get to know and trust you, the more likely you are to be their agent of choice when they buy or sell.

Just Sold/Just Listed Flyers

Sharing the success of your real estate practice is a great way to get attention from other homeowners in the area. Two real estate marketing strategies are helpful in doing so. A “Just Sold” flyer – focused on the customer and home more than on you – can be a great way to point out that you are a successful agent with a great track record. “Just Listed” flyers draw attention to your business while also bringing potential buyers to the property, which is a win-win for any agent.

To make your flyer stand out, be creative without losing the key message. Instead of “Just Listed”, for instance, try something like “Could This Be Your New Home?”. For a “Just Sold” flyer, lead with “Moving on Up”, and then provide information about the home and sale.

The key with any marketing material is to make sure it’s relevant to the person receiving it. Don’t spend time trumpeting about yourself and your success. Feature a testimonial from the homeowners that have benefited from your expertise, or highlight the features of the new listing that could benefit the reader. In that way, you’ll hold attention while still building a strong awareness of your practice.

Contacting Expired Listings

Expired listings are an amazing real estate marketing opportunity for any agent, but some Realtors® feel uncomfortable approaching them. Remember that these are homeowners that need additional help selling their home, and don’t be afraid to offer that help. If the previous agent couldn’t help them, then perhaps you can!

There are many ways to contact expired listings. You can call them directly and ask them about the experience they had and what struggles occurred with the listing. You can email them as part of an email marketing campaign. You can also send expired listing postcards or letters. My personal preference is the phone call, simply because you can direct the flow of the conversation and get specific questions answered as you offer your services.

No matter how you contact an expired listing, as part of your real estate marketing strategy be sure to get the most out of it by focusing on the homeowner. Empathize with their frustration. Feel out the nature of the problem they had. If appropriate – and it usually is – offer yourself as a possible solution to the issue. Trust your gut – some listings expire because the homeowner isn’t ready to sell at an appropriate price or has some other difficult attitude. Most of the time, however, you can come in and save the day.

Seasonal Marketing

In most areas of the country, the seasons are a very significant part of how and when homes are bought and sold. Whether people move in the summer to avoid disrupting their child’s school year, or decide not to list in the winter because the house is less attractive, seasonal concerns are in the forefront of real estate.

As a Realtor®, you can use these concerns to your advantage as you plan your real estate marketing strategies. By using postcard marketing, email marketing, or social media posts, you can acknowledge each season and tie it in to your real estate message.

Information about standing out as one of few listings in the winter can boost business during a slow time. Notes about spring cleaning, home staging, and taking advantage of prime listing season can help kick off the spring. Summer and fall likewise offer their own holidays and advantages that can be highlighted in your marketing.

Remember that your seasonal communication doesn’t have to be a hard sell. Sometimes a fun word search or an invitation to a fall ‘Harvest Party’ at your brokerage is all you need to recognize the season while keeping your real estate business front-of-mind for residents.

Choosing your real estate marketing strategies can seem overwhelming, but sticking to the basics can make it much easier. By farming neighborhoods, using just sold and just listed flyerReal Estate Marketing Strategiess, contacting expired listings, and using seasonal outreach, you can keep it simple and still become one of the top performing Realtors® in your area.

If we at Printerbees can help you in any way, let us know! We’re always here for you and would be delighted to help you implement any or all of the above strategies.

What’s your favorite real estate marketing strategy? Share in the comments!

How to Farm Your Area for Maximum Success

Community Farming

Some real estate agents don’t commit to farming a neighborhood or area. They rely on their brokerage’s leads and hope that friends and family will make up the difference. Unfortunately, they often don’t. The most successful Realtors® are those that actively farm their area and achieve name recognition in their market – BEFORE the customer is looking to buy or sell.

Fortunately, farming is not that difficult and pays huge dividends for the effort committed. While the principles are easy, it does take time and investment. Those who are willing to invest the time and money in their business are the ones who are positioning themselves for success.

Pick an Area You Know Well – or Want to Know Well

A big part of farming is knowing an area like the back of your hand. You want to know all the places to eat, all the community events, all the neighborhoods… you name it, you want to know it. When you can feel the pulse of a community, you can connect to it much more authentically than a Realtor® who comes in cold. If it’s an area near you – and it’s much easier if it is – start being seen around the neighborhood. Walk your dog there. Visit local restaurants. Go to the farmer’s market or 4th of July parade. You’ll get to know people naturally, in a non-sales related way.

Consider Neighborhood Turnover, Price Point, and Equity

Every Realtor® will have their own preferences in what types of areas they want to farm. Some like areas with higher equity, so they won’t have stressed buyers trying to force a high price point. Others like neighborhoods in the lower-to-mid level price range, ensuring that the homes are affordable for buyers and sell quickly. And some Realtors® will want to target higher-income neighborhoods, specializing in the type of marketing it takes to move a higher-priced home. Think about what your specialties and comfort levels are, and choose accordingly.

Keep an Updated List of Interactions

A software program can definitely help with this, but even without one it’s important to track interactions. Remember who you met and where, what you talked about, what their pet’s/child’s/spouse’s name was, and what they said about their housing situation. Follow up with people you meet regularly. You will likely want to group your contacts and follow up quickly with anyone who expresses a real estate need or referral. Those who don’t express those needs immediately should still be contacted, but perhaps less often or in a different way.

Start a Neighborhood Newsletter

You can get mailing address for homeowners in your area and create a neighborhood newsletter branded with your name and picture. Talk about things happening in the area and have a section for new listings. Don’t create anything lowbrow, however, like a gossip newsletter. It’s also best to stay away from politics. You can target homeowners with one newsletter to gain listings, and renters with another newsletter to gain buyers.

Real Estate Farming Postcards

The year is full of holidays, both big and small, and all of them are a reason to reach out to your neighborhood. Choose 4 – 6 times per year to send branded postcards with a seasonal flair, letting them know that you are available to help residents buy or sell. From Easter to Earth Day to Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there are plenty of opportunities to reach out – and very little Realtor® competition in the mailbox! Order your farming postcards today.

Volunteer

Volunteering with neighborhood organizations or home associations can be a great way to become known in a community in a very positive way. There are a few considerations, though. Be sure not to volunteer in a position that will take so much time it will hurt your real estate or family commitments. Be sure not to put yourself in a position that will cause a conflict of interest if you market to, list in, or sell in that community. And finally, don’t be invisible professionally – make sure people know you’re an agent and you’re available to help them!

Go Door to Door

You might think that in the internet age, going door to door is no longer relevant. To the contrary, it’s more relevant than ever. A personal, real contact is so rare today that it’s cherished and remembered far more than a Facebook post or Pinterest image. Along this line, cold calling can also be extremely effective. By connecting and having a live conversation with someone in your neighborhood area, you’ll be able to introduce yourself and stay top-of-mind.

Email Marketing

Far from being dead, email marketing is more effective than ever – if it’s done properly. By properly, I mean that email messages are targeted, relevant, and sent to a group that has agreed to hear from you. To build your email list you can run contests, host giveaways, or create an email newsletter. Then, send targeted and relevant messages to your list to advertise listings, celebrate holidays, or let them know about something new in the neighborhood.

Farming a neighborhood or geographic area is a very important way to build a strong brand presence and build up a significant client base. These clients will not only come to you to buy or sell, but they will refer friends and family who need real estate help as well – especially if you ask! By using the techniques above, you’ll be able to build a strong presence in whatever community or neighborhood you choose. To your success!!

Do you currently farm an area? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

How to Create the Perfect Farming Postcard

Spring is almost here, and that means buying and selling is about to heat up! Want to get in on the action? Farming postcards are a great way to build awareness in any neighborhood or county, and it’s a form of advertising that won’t break the bank.

Creating a great farming postcard that doesn’t simply blend in with other mail is essential to raising awareness about your business and services. Here are some simple ways to create the perfect farming postcard.

Farming Postcards Build Real Estate Business

Use a Postcard

This should go without saying, of course, but it’s important to use a postcard rather than a letter. While a letter can convey more information, they are generally thrown away unopened once the homeowner realizes it’s a solicitation. A postcard has the significant advantage that it’s already open, bringing the eye-catching designs and colors you choose immediately to the attention of the recipient.

Get Attention

In any form of advertising, you have only seconds to secure your prospect’s attention. There are many ways to gain attention using your postcard. The more of the below techniques you can include naturally, the better.

  • A funny picture or saying can immediately grab attention and get a prospect to read the entire card
  • Address Desires and Fears. Every piece of advertising should answer the question, “What’s in it for your prospect?” Every individual wants to fulfill their desires and eliminate their fears, and they’re always willing to find out how. A bold statement offering to fill a desire or eliminate a fear will definitely lead to further investigation.
  • Easier, Cheaper, More Convenient. In line with the previous suggestion, everyone wants life to be easier, cheaper, and more convenient. By making that offer up front, you will definitely gain a prospect’s attention.
  • Special Deals or Free Add-ons. Everyone wants to get the best deal available, and making it a limited-time offer can encourage prospects to respond quickly.
  • Color and Graphics. Bold color and eye-catching graphics will help gain attention among regular mail when used along with the previous techniques.

Include Your Picture

A photo creates an immediate connection, and can help a prospect feel like they know you better than they do. By including a photo with your contact information, you can start to form relationships right away. This is especially important as you continue your mailing campaigns – seeing your picture multiple times helps solidify you in your prospect’s mind.

Target High Value Markets

You want to make sure to spend your advertising dollars wisely, and that involves targeting the best markets with ideal frequency. You should send several postcards a year offering your services, but focus your efforts in areas with the most value to you. This doesn’t just mean neighborhoods with expensive homes – you want to focus in areas where past clients live, the neighborhood you live and work, and other areas that you have a higher level of recognition. Emphasizing those warm markets will help you build a strong client base and gain additional customers over time.

Farming postcards are a simple, low-cost way to engage new prospects in high-value neighborhoods. By using an open postcard, gaining the clients attention right away, and including your picture, you can have a successful postcard campaign and effectively grow your business and your income.

Ready to start farming? Take a look at our wide selection of Printerbees farming postcards today!

Realtor® Rip Off Report: How to Avoid Lead Generation Ripoffs

Market Leader Rip Off ReportEvery Realtor® needs leads in order to show and sell properties. Getting leads can be a lot of work, and many Realtors® don’t know where to start. As a result, some Realtors® turn to lead generation services that promise to do all the legwork. Sounds great, right!  Please read on….Market Leader is one such service, however according to many complaints they simply take your money and do not provide the promised leads. By locking Realtors® into a multi-month contract, services like Market Leader leave professionals with nowhere to turn despite not getting what was promised.

Market Leader Issues
Market Leader promises to generate a certain number of leads within your area code, but over time many Realtor®s are seeing the leads from outside their area. One customer was finally told that Market Leader cannot promise where leads come from. That makes the leads useless.

Past customers also report that once a contract is in place, Market Leader and many other services will work hard to make sure you can’t get out of it. Customers have complained that they have been told they need 35 day written notice (long enough to charge you an extra month) and that they have to cancel by a certain day of the month in order to have it process in time.

Unfortunately, the complaints about customer service abound as well, both on posts to their Facebook site (Posts to Page on the left sidebar) and on external services. Many customers say they get ‘outside business hours’ messages in the early afternoon, or are not allowed to speak to a supervisor when they wish to dispute charges. There are also many technical issues with the site and Realtors® are simply told that a ‘ticket has been submitted’. Some Realtors® had customers reporting the campaign emails as spam because the Market Leader campaigns were malfunctioning, and multiple calls to customer service did nothing to fix the issue.

You can read all of the gory details from the Facebook group, “What Should I Spend My Monday On?” It’s  a good group!

Finally, users with Macs do not have nearly the functionality of other subscribers, but they pay the same high prices. The creative portions where you create your own mailings have to be done from a PC. Even with a PC, you cannot verify ownership of your domain with Market Leader so apparently there is no syncing with Google apps to coordinate with a team.

For a service that charges $580 a month and locks you into a 6 month contract, you have a right to expect better. In fact, if you put those kinds of resources to work in your own lead generation efforts, you could grow your business dramatically and remain in control of the quality of the leads you attract.

How to Avoid Ripoffs and Generate Your Own Leads
Here at the Real Estate Marketing Magazine, we have a free e-book that can help you get a jump-start on your lead generation efforts. You don’t even have to start spending your hard earned cash! Here are some tips from the e-book and beyond.

Start with those you know. I know, no one likes to harass friends and family. But remember, you’re in this to SERVE, and folks need help finding a great place to live! Finding a great Realtor® isn’t as easy as you’d think.  Keep in mind that it isn’t just who you know, it’s who THEY know also. Use our free calls scripts and letters to help you reach out to the people in your sphere.

By starting with those you already know and asking for referrals, you can begin your network with those who already know and trust you. And trust sells!

Social Media
Social media is a great way to reach out to those you don’t know, build relationships, and nurture prospects. You can establish a Facebook site for your realty business, and post photos from your listings to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Twitter! In addition, you can establish a website using easy-to-build templates through any number of services. Squarespace is well known for having great visually-focused templates, which is a major bonus for any Realtor®! Remember, when you help people see themselves in your properties, your sales job is almost done.

Business Cards and Mailings
A professionally designed business card is essential for any successful Realtor®. Services such as PrinterBees have hundreds of real estate business card templates to choose from.  In addition, sending farming postcards to people in your area to announce a new listing or an open house can be very effective. Postcards get seen more readily than letters, which residents often throw away without opening because they are  seen as ‘junk mail’. Postcards with great graphics are eye-catching and already ‘opened’!  PrinterBees has a huge selection of real estate marketing postcards for any type of lead generation program you want to kick off.

These are just a few examples of low-cost ways to begin to gain leads. There are many more. See each person you meet as a potential sale – if not them, then someone they know! Learn how to connect quickly through conversation and assess their needs. When you add a new person to your network, it isn’t one person – it’s more likely 100, since you add their entire network as well. With this mindset, you’ll see that the world is your oyster – and you don’t need to pay $580 a month and be plagued with issues to access it!

Have these call scripts emailed to you. They work great for contacting your sphere of influence.

I’ve Been Keeping Secrets…It’s Time You Knew…

Secrets With Friends Book CoverFor the last two years, I’ve been writing a book, just for you…with all my small business secrets!  The book is titled The Secrets I Share With My Friends, Everything I Know About Building A Small Business.  I’m  excited to announce it’s been published and is now available on Amazon.

Why this book is for you, as a Realtor®:

Whether you realize it or not, you ARE a small business owner and seeing your real estate business as a small business will help you to build it up as such.  There’s a big difference between having a real estate business and being a Realtor®.  The real estate business owner has a business that’s of value to someone else, where the Realtor® who didn’t build a business just quits selling real estate one day.  Done, THE END.  There’s nothing beyond the last day of work to show for it, other than years of dedication to helping the people helped along the way.  The name just fades away in to nothingness the day the Realtor® stops serving…the business owner can sell his/her business, has systems, a valuable database, a solid marketing plan and it lives on without her providing income long past the days worked.

There are very few books available (that I’ve been able to find) on how to build up and market a real estate business, that’s why I wrote this book!

I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way, like the time I showed up to a really important business meeting with a business card I had printed from my computer ink-jet printer.  I’ve included that super embarrassing story in the book along with many other mistakes I’ve made along the way to success as a small business owner.  My personal stories of bumps and bruises received from attending The School Of Hard Knocks can save you from taking the same path.  A path all too common with entrepreneurs and small business owners…and yes, Realtors® too!  If you’ve been in real estate for a while, your story isn’t likely much different than mine when the real estate market crashed and everything when to…ummm…hell!  I’m not sure about you, but I found myself in line at the food bank to make sure I had groceries to feed the kids while trying to meet my financial obligations (1.5M. in debt), with NO income!  Rough times!

The book is filled with an abundance of easy to understand, easy to follow and easy to read information on how to build your real estate business, build a team, hire the right people, delegate what should be delegated, market your brand of real estate, managing business finances, building your prospect list, where to get a list, and everything in between… all the way to retirement.

Reading this book will completely change the way you see your real estate business and the possibilities that exist with some simple planning and thinking ahead.

As a Realtor® maybe retiring and selling your real estate business at some point isn’t something you’re thinking about, right now.  After all,  your clients are doing business with you, versus your business/brokerage.  Changing your thinking around this could be the difference between a comfortable retirement that includes passive income from your real estate business and just deciding to stop selling real estate when you retire with no passive income.  Which path sounds better to you?

As you build up your real estate business, if you build it up with the end in mind, you have the ability to set yourself up for a nice retirement and create a business that pays you even when you’re done and not working any in it longer.  Creating a successful real estate business that can live on without you is easy with some direction on how to do it and I’ve included all of my secrets on how to do that in the book!

The book is getting rave reviews from top thought leaders and coaches like Steve Hardison “The Ultimate Coach” as a blue print for small business owners, like yourself, that’s easy to read because it’s not a boring text book, it’s a memoir that’s interesting, funny and filled with secrets throughout.  Here’s what Steve had to say about the book after reading it in one sitting.

Nadine Larder’s part memoir, part “how to,” and part textbook, “The Secrets I Share With My Friends…,” meets with trumpets of success from world-renowned personal, relationship and business coach Steven Hardison.

“I met Nadine today in the parking garage after attending #ICON 14.  It was my great privilege to be given her first copy of the book, “The Secrets I Share With My Friends: Everything I Know About Building a Small Business.”  After I completed my afternoon with a client, I sat down to thumb through the book she had given me.  I could not simply thumb through it. It was too compelling.

“As I read her book I was amazed at the passion that came through the pages, and I was even more astonished at the content of the information.  It is extraordinary! I can hardly wait to speak with her to tell her what I thought of her masterpiece.  It is beyond brilliant.

“I particularly love her Pssst… comments throughout the book. I will be giving this copy to my daughter who, like Nadine, has the desire to build a small business from the ground up. This book is a brilliant blueprint.

“I do not know Nadine, other than the 5-10 minute encounter in the parking garage, AND I am totally moved by her contribution to me as I have consumed her writing. I can only imagine the impact it will have on readers who are building their own business. My hat is off to this powerful and dynamic woman. Thanks, Nadine. Be blessed.”

Visit www.SmbSmarts.net for more information on the book, Nadine and lots of small business secrets!  You can get the book on Amazon…Grab your copy now!  They’re first edition and we plan do to a reprint soon!