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Archive for marketing for real estate

If You Build It, Will They Come?

If You Build It Will They Come?

Are you frustrated because you feel like you deserve more business? After all, you’re putting in all the work. You’re building your skills. You have a website. You belong to a great brokerage.

Why aren’t people flocking to you?

Very simply, it’s because you haven’t told them too. 

“Building it” isn’t enough. You have to sell it too.

Get Feedback from Your Prospects

You’re the expert. You have excellent training. You already know what your prospects need, right?

Wrong.

When you’ve put some marketing out, you need to know if it’s effective. You need to know if you’re hitting the mark or you’re completely off base.

How do you tell?

There are several ways. They include:

  • Do market research to help you understand what your message needs to be
  • Using a unique link in your email marketing and tracking if people click it to visit your site
  • Use specific giveaways and see how many prospects claim
  • Ask people for honest feedback on social media or in person

In essence, you’re researching what your message should be, and then testing the results of that marketing strategy.

Overcome Your Fear of Selling

Many times, Realtors® who “build it but they never come” are simply afraid of selling. It’s easy to stay busy with tons of “important” tasks that keep you from having to move outside your comfort zone.

Do you know how to market your real estate business?

But if you know what to do and struggle to actually get it done, you may be struggling with your marketing mindset. You need to understand that selling your services is what allows you to live your dreams!

This Isn’t the Movies

Unfortunately, “If you build it, they will come,” only works in the movies. In today’s world, you have to work hard to get and hold your prospects’ attention.

It takes a multi-faceted approach. You want to combine consistent print marketing with email marketing, social media, and your own website.

It takes a lot of work, but it takes the right kind of work as well. You can keep yourself busy with non-essentials and fail in your business. Or, you can focus on selling your services and reach the goals that caused you to enter real estate to begin with.

Don’t be shy – there’s no way the prospects can know what you do unless you tell them!

Ready to get your farming postcards moving, or follow-up with clients using written note cards? We have what you need. Take a look at Printerbees today!

Time Blocking for Real Estate Agents

Time Blocking for Real Estate

I recently published an article about how success isn’t always glamourous. There was a lot of interest in seeing some examples of how to organize your time to get the most important things done first.

I want to start by saying that if you haven’t read Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller, I’d start there. Keller will help you understand where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there.

Once you have set your priorities, you’re ready to start doing the work. Time blocking can help.

Why Time Blocking?

When we have an appointment with someone else, we protect that time and make arrangements to ensure we arrive. We make sure we’re on time. We arrive ready to go.

Time blocking is a way of taking advantage of this prioritization by setting appointments with yourself. When you do this, you will not only be more faithful to your priorities, but you will have fewer interruptions.

Someone who looks on your calendar won’t see what you have scheduled, but they will see that some time is blocked out and they’ll work around that in meeting with you.

How to Make It Work

Some Realtors® have tried time blocking but discarded it because they didn’t think it worked. Everything seemed to bleed over into other blocks, and they found the control wasn’t there.

With a few tips, however, you can make allowances so that time blocking does work for your real estate business.

Technique #1: Block a Few Things a Day

It’s helpful to start small and just block a few things a day until you get used to the process. This helps prioritize your key tasks for times you have the most energy, while leaving plenty of “white space” for things that come up during the day.

To use this technique, think about what time of day you’re at your absolute best. Block 1.5 – 3 hours during this time for your most important task. Your most important task is the one that brings in clients. Cold calling, door knocking, following up with leads online, and more.

Avoid the busy-but-not-productive tasks, such as:

  • Checking email that isn’t from prospects
  • Spending time on social media in a way that isn’t directly related to getting leads
  • Errands and paperwork
  • Organizing your office

Once you’ve completed that time block, you can pursue the rest of your day knowing that you had one block of highly productive time that will build your business. Over time, you can add more blocks, always leaving plenty of room for unexpected events.

Technique #2: Time Block Your Whole Day

Many people who try time blocking jump straight into trying to break the whole day into blocks. This often leads to failure because most people’s ability to estimate time is far from perfect.

When you block your whole day, you run a high risk that something will run over, causing a domino effect of missed blocks. You may feel stressed, unaccomplished, and frustrated. The fact that you did get a lot done can be lost in a sea of things you weren’t able to do.

If you do want to time block your whole day, make sure you follow these tips:

  • Remember to time block time to eat, and time for breaks
  • Include blocks for regular family events: children’s games, date nights, and family dinners
  • Make your blocks longer than you think you need, to help avoid overruns
  • Put your most important work during high-energy times
  • Plan administrative tasks during low-energy times

Over time, if you’re willing to practice, refine, and edit, you’ll find a way to time block that works for you. When you do, you’ll have more confidence in your productivity, more focus on your marketing, and a thriving business.

Do you need to order some key marketing materials in time for the busy summer season? Set aside time to do it today! We have a variety of farming postcardsJust Listed and Just Sold materials, flyers, and more. Grab some today!

Real Estate Emails That Make an Impact!

Real Estate Emails That Have an Impact

The other day I got an email from someone who has a very professional website. Their business is all about constructing a professional brand image online. I love their website!

There was one problem. The email was dismal.

It was full of grammatical errors. It was too short. It lacked a point. It gave a sloppy call-to-action that directed me to a blog post that wasn’t even connected to the company.

It did NOT make me want to work with that company.

Is that the impact that your emails have? Do they match up to your professionalism, or do they fall short?

You can create real estate emails that make a real impact and build your business. For every $1 in marketing, email marketing can return $44.25! If you’re not seeing that, consider making these changes.

Use the Right “From” Address

One of the most important aspects of an email is often overlooked – what “from” address shows when you email your list?

If it’s not a personal email that seems to be coming directly from you, you have a major problem. In fact, the “from” address of an email matters more than the subject line. And the subject line is vital!

People aren’t interested in irrelevant email, and an email that comes from a company (info@company.com, for instance) screams advertising. And an unknown Gmail address seems like spam. Instead, make sure that your name is involved. That way, your recipient knows exactly who is contacting them.

An effective “from” address has these characteristics:

  • Comes from someone the contact knows and trusts (you, not your company)
  • Helps readers find your messages if they get misrouted or put in the junk folder
  • Stands out in a sea of other email addresses

Be Personal and Engaging

Using your customer’s name – without overusing it, of course – is essential to making a connection with your reader. The subject line might say, “-Name-, thought you might enjoy this article” or something equally personal.

In addition, an email should always begin with the prospect’s name. That way, everyone feels like they are hearing directly from you even if the email is automated.

Once you have the personalization, be engaging! Don’t send boring, shop-talk style emails. No one wants to read that. Instead, focus on the following types of email:

  • Q&A: Answer common questions that your prospects have
  • Story-Based: Tell a story about something you encountered and then draw a short applicable lesson from it. The story should be fun – and don’t underestimate how much people want to know the real you!
  • Testimonial: Use a review or testimonial to share a great experience that a client had with you. It helps others want to work with you as well. Be sure to end with “This is why I love what I do”, along with a gentle call-to-action. No need to be too salesy.
  • Drive to a Blog Post. If you have a blog, consider having one email a month that directs people to the blog. That will get readers to your site so they can see your listings and other materials.
  • Having local events can be a great way to share information and get leads. Use your email list to promote any local appreciation or workshop events that you hold.

Be Entertaining

One mistake many Realtors® – and other professionals – make with email marketing is that they think their subscribers want to learn more information.

The truth is, everyone has far too much information. No one wants to learn more! Instead, you need to be as entertaining as you can be. Try to be 80% entertaining and 20% educating. That way, you are getting a point across, but you’re doing it in a really fun way.

Don’t feel like you have to be a professional comedian to entertain. All of us have silly, funny, or even embarrassing things happen in our daily lives that we can share. Those things are often great stories! By sharing a story about yourself, your family, or your business, you can be authentic while also selling your business.

Be Consistent

Are you worried about how often you email? Do you wonder if you email too much? Let me tell you a secret – there’s no magic number. The trick is to be consistent.

If you email once a month – sometimes – but are inconsistent, you’ll get complaints and unsubscribes every time you send an email.

On the other hand, if you set the expectation that you’ll email every week or once a month, and you actually do, you’ll get more engagement, fewer complaints, and fewer drop-offs. It’s not about how often you email. It’s about setting an expectation and being consistent.

Consider varying your emails to make them easier to craft and more predictable for readers. For instance, you could email weekly using a cycle like this:

  • Week 1: Just for Fun
  • Week 2: Testimonial and Ask for Referrals
  • Week 3: Story and Ask for Business
  • Week 4: Drive to a Blog Post

This way, you never wonder what to say next. Your readers will also know what to expect. The consistency will work wonders.

Email marketing is very effective. It just has to be done correctly. It’s also best done in conjunction with regular postcard and mailing campaigns. If you’re ready for your next batch of Just Listed or Just Sold postcards, let us help! We have tons of templates to choose from.

How do you use email marketing? Share in the comments!

Five Ways to Be a Superstar Real Estate Agent

Superhero Real Estate Agent

Real estate is a profession with a high attrition rate. Some of this can be attributed to lack of preparation – getting your real estate license is very easy, and the process isn’t set up to ensure that you’re qualified for this business.

However, many other real estate agents have the potential to be amazing, but they defeat themselves. Here are five ways to avoid washing yourself out of a great career – and to instead become a superstar real estate agent.

Combine Online and Offline Marketing

Newer agents are very focused on online leads and online real estate marketing. That’s great, but the solid, effective practices of traditional real estate marketing are still important. Yes, have a website, a blog, social media, and even Periscope. But make sure you balance your efforts with postcard marketing, door-knocking, cold-calling, and many other traditional techniques.

Many real estate agents rely on online marketing as a crutch – they simply don’t have the confidence to meet people face to face, and so they convince themselves they can do everything online. It’s isn’t true. Not only that, but your lack of confidence will show itself online as well – hiding isn’t doing you any good.

Overall, as a real estate agent you need to build a network quickly. Your regular sphere of influence is a great start, but you need more than that. By doing neighborhood farming, knocking, and calling in addition to your online efforts, you’ll make better connections and get your name in front of prospects regularly. That will make a big difference in making you a successful real estate agent.

Practice Self Care

I don’t want to get too “woo-woo” on you, but taking care of yourself is vital if you’re going to be a superstar agent. One reason so many real estate agents drop out in their first year or two is that they simply burn out. Yes, it’s fun to commiserate about never having any weekends or time off, but it’s not a healthy way to live.

What’s an agent to do, though, since they DO have to work so many nights and weekends? My suggestion is to simply schedule yourself into your calendar like you would any client. Put three one-hour blocks per week in your schedule, label them “private”, and use that time to take care of yourself. A long lunch at your favorite restaurant, a pedicure, or even a nap can fill that time. Whatever it takes to nurture you.

Don’t let anyone intrude on that time either! You wouldn’t double book with another client, so simply tell folks that you already have an appointment at that time and suggest another option. You can’t serve others if you don’t take care of yourself. If you want to excel in real estate, consider yourself a client too.

Make Goals and Write them Down

When your goals are right in front of you each day, it’s much more motivating and it’s easier to focus. Make goals in more than just your real estate practice – have goals for business, family, finances, education, mental and spiritual health, and physical health. You don’t need five goals in each – that would be overwhelming – but knowing your top two in each area is helpful.

One reason it’s important to make goals in multiple areas is that it helps you remember you’re a multi-faceted person. Yes, you are a Realtor® and you want to succeed. But you are also a whole human being, and in order to be a great Realtor® you need to be a balanced and healthy person.

As you write down your goals for your business, take time to think about the steps needed to get there. You can use these steps – written down, of course – to help guide your daily and weekly schedule. If you need 10 listings this month, think about how many calls that is. Break it down and do enough each day to reach that total. By breaking each goal into steps, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.

Understand that Boring Repetition Creates Momentum and Success

Yes, it’s tough to make the calls every day, to send the postcards every week, and to do outreach and door-knocking. It seems boring and repetitive. However, remember that to succeed in real estate you need repeated success – listing after listing, sale after sale. The only way to get repeated, consistent success is to put in repeated, consistent effort.

One thing I notice about small businesses of all kinds, including real estate, is that there’s always someone out there who wants to sell you a shortcut. They want to tell you that you can avoid the boring repetition of real estate marketing and outreach, and simply become successful while resting on your laurels. I promise you, the only one getting rich on that strategy is the huckster. Don’t fall for it.

Anything worth doing has its exciting elements and it’s boring, repetitive elements. However, the ongoing work is what brings ongoing success. Don’t stop marketing because you made a few sales, unless you don’t want to make any more sales! Keep marketing, and you’ll keep making sales. Simple as that.

Don’t Waste Leads

I’m ending on this one because it’s astonishing how often it happens, and it’s so damaging to a real estate agent’s success. You get leads in so many ways, it’s very easy to let some – or many – of them slip through the cracks. Do you get a list of buyers from an open house? Do something with that! Don’t just let it languish.

One way to make lead capture easier is to use automated systems. I’ve talked before about how I use Infusionsoft to capture my leads and how it brought my revenue up 472%. Whatever system you use, use it consistently and you’ll find that your business is immensely more successful. Track every lead – social media, email, phone call, personal interaction, and more – and follow up. You never want to waste a lead.

I’m amazed how many Realtors® “wing it” when it comes to lead follow-up. They just seem to hope they remember to call or email the person. Sometimes they do – and sometimes they forget until it’s too late. Don’t be that person. Have an automated follow-up system so you don’t leave any money on the table with your leads.

These are five ways you can become a Realtor® success story, instead of another dropout statistic. Combine your marketing techniques, take care of yourself, write down goals, understand the impact of boring repetition, and don’t waste leads. Your success is right in front of you – go take it!

What habits ensure your success in real estate? Share in the comments!

Do You Still Need to “List to Last”?

List to Last

There’s been a long-standing catch phrase in our industry that real estate agents need to “list to last”. That is, if an agent didn’t focus on listings, they wouldn’t last in the industry for very long.

Many Realtors® are challenging that idea now, especially with internet marketing increasing exposure for both listing agents and buyer’s agents. With great online marketing in an internet-savvy market, a buyer’s agent can certainly be successful. But my contention is they can’t be as successful as a well-positioned listing agent. Here’s why.

Buyers Take More Time

This is a simple reality. It takes a lot of time to show buyers around. I read an article by a buyer’s agent who said he maximized efficiency by showing most information through email and online, limiting in-person showings, and turning down buyers who seemed too needy.

Well, that’s a great gig if you can get it, and he’s obviously an established agent in a large market to be able to lay those boundaries. But the simple truth is, many clients aren’t internet savvy. Many listings don’t have great online pictures or a video walkthrough. And many clients need to really see and feel a space in person before they can make a decision. So, as a buyer’s agent, spending time on the road is a reality.

As a listing agent, on the other hand, you have a certain amount of work up front but then the work is mainly from the office. You communicate with potential buyers over the phone, and market the property online or with an open house or two. You can give high-quality service to many more listings at one time than you can buyers. Thus, a successful listing agent has better earning potential than a successful buyer’s agent.

Listings Generate More Business

We all love referrals, and a happy buyer can certainly send some your way. However, when you list a home, you have a lot more opportunity for visibility than a buyer’s agent. The sign in the yard is a big deal. The sign is a visual that puts your name and smiling face in front of others, both buyers and sellers, every day. Besides that, your name is in the real estate section of the newspaper, online, and more.

It’s very popular to say that traditional marketing techniques don’t matter in the age of the internet, but it’s simply not true. The opposite of “out of sight, out of mind” is “in sight, in mind,” and that’s exactly what a listing sign, newspaper picture, just-listed postcard, and more do for you.

Buyer’s agents may argue that you can more cheaply advertise online, and that online marketing is the great equalizer. The problem is, online advertising is also much more crowded. Standing out online is much harder than standing out through a yard sign, postcard, or newspaper real estate spread. Your return on investment as a listing agent is simply higher.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Buyer’s Agents!

I’m not trying to say it’s wrong to want to be a buyer’s agent. Many Realtors® I know love the experience of finding a buyer’s dream home, and hate dealing with sellers and their unrealistic (at times) expectations. I get that. But realize that you’re making a trade-off. You’re happier and enjoy your work more, and you’re lowering your earning potential. That’s a valid choice!

However, if your goal is to maximize your income and your time efficiency, you’ll find that listings are essential to your business. You can give great service to more listings at one time than you can buyers, and your marketing opportunities are much greater. You’ll find that through listings, you’ll reach not only new listings but buyers as well. You may find you want to partner with a buyer’s agent so you can give great, targeted service to both groups.

Being a listing agent takes a similar, but slightly different, set of skills than being a buyer’s agent. The presentations are different, the hustle is different, and many times the personalities required are slightly different. However, the old adage of our industry is still true – if you want to be the most successful you can be, you still must “list to last”.

Do you think Realtors® need to “list to last”? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

How to Get Out of the “Friend Zone” and Be Known as an Agent

Realtors out of the friend zone

I had lunch with a new real estate agent a few weeks ago, and he was complaining that it was hard to get business from his friends and family. In fact, most people he met saw him as something other than a Realtor® – a member of the neighborhood association, a parent, or a friend.

I started realizing that that’s a problem for a lot of Realtors®. Just like the tomboyish girl in high school, or the guy who’s got all the female friends but no girlfriend, we get put into the “friend zone” and people don’t even realize we’re Realtors®.

Fortunately, you don’t have to stay in the “friend zone”. You can make yourself known as an agent and actively solicit business. Here are three techniques you can use – it just takes a little self-confidence.

Friend Zone Buster #1: Talk about Work

Everyone seems to talk about their job. Why not you? You don’t have to join the complain-and-groan sessions. In fact, talk about how happy you are in your job. When they inevitably ask what you do, explain that you’re an agent. Talk about what you love about the business – except money. This is not the time to talk about great pay or unlimited income.

After you’ve expressed why you love real estate, ask how they felt the last time they moved. Ask if they used an agent, and why. Ask if they know anyone who’s moving right now and needs help. Do all of this naturally in the course of conversation, not as a rapid fire interview, of course.

Why this works: First of all, it gets the word out that you’re a real estate agent, which can be really important when people know you in other contexts. Secondly, it shows you’re happy and successful in your work. When someone wants an agent, they will want one that loves the job and exudes confidence and excitement about the buying and selling process.

Friend Zone Buster #2: Ask Friends and Family for Feedback on Your Marketing Materials

This one is kinda sneaky, but it’s a great way to get honest feedback from your sphere of influence while also spreading the word that you’re an agent. Ask people what they think of fliers, business cards, leaflets, postcards – anything! Ask if it would influence them to choose you as an agent.

This is a great way to find out if your marketing is actually effective to the people you’re trying to reach. If they react poorly, ask them why. Maybe they will bring up objections about Realtors® they have that aren’t related to your materials – you can talk to them about it, or you can consider addressing those concerns in other marketing outreaches.

Why it works: No one likes being sold, but everyone loves to be an expert. When you ask your friends and family for feedback, they will be happy to give you their $0.02, where if you just gave them a flier as marketing they would probably just throw it away. The more of your materials they see, the more cemented you are in their mind as a professional agent, not just a friend.

Friend Zone Buster #3:  Be an Expert on Local Happenings and Real Estate

Now, I’ll start right away by saying I’m not talking about the boorish expert who turns every conversation to their real estate expertise – the one people flee from at parties as soon as they have a chance. I’m talking about a being real, friendly, go-to person about your target neighborhoods.

It’s important to connect this expertise with your real estate work. You’ll want people to know you’re an expert because you’re a Realtor®, not just because you’re a social butterfly. Again, it takes some tact and grace to make this one work. But when you get it down, you’ll be non-threatening, but known as a knowledgeable and professional agent, not just a friend.

Why it works: Everyone likes to know what’s going on in their neck of the woods, or even in neighboring towns. A festival, new restaurant, or new development is a worthy topic of conversation to most people. It’s a very non-threatening way to make sure people know you’re an agent without feeling like you’re “selling” them on your services.

As a Realtor®, you can’t afford to be in the “friend zone”. You need folks to know that you are an excited, knowledgeable, and professional real estate agent. However, you already know that trying a hard sell with your friends and family drives people away. By using the three techniques above, you can soft sell your circle of influence and bust out of the “friend zone” for good.

How do you stay out of the “friend zone”? Share in the comments!

Six Things That Could Be Sabotaging Your Sales Success

Sabotaging Sales Success

Did you just lose a big prospect and you’re left wondering why? Or do you feel that your sales could be better, but you’re just not sure what’s holding you back? Real estate is a hard business, no doubt about it. Fortunately, there are some common errors that Realtors® make that sabotage their sales success. After taking a look at these, you may know exactly what you need to do to improve your business.

Your Value Doesn’t Match Your Commission

Being a full-service broker means a lot, but it comes at a price. It’s amazing to me that the kind of scrutiny about pay that Realtors® get every day. But nonetheless, it’s there. So, if you have a higher commission than is common in your area, you need to provide the value and service that backs it up. This will help you handle objections as well, since you can point out exactly what you do that others don’t. If you can’t prove that you work up to your commission, you are losing business left and right.

You’re So Busy You Fall Behind

You can never have too many clients, right? WRONG! When you’re so busy that you fall behind and start dropping the ball, you’re giving your clients a terrible impression. Unfortunately, you will quickly develop a bad reputation that will hurt your business and make your sales plummet. It takes an unbelievably short amount of time to create a bad reputation – don’t do it to yourself! If you have too much business, work out a split with another agent or hire help.

Your Team Isn’t Solidly Identified With You

Having a team is a great help, but the marketing you do needs to reflect that team spirit. If you don’t identify closely enough with your team, the clients you refer to team members will feel slighted and may drop out of the deal. Make sure everyone has the same explanation of the sales process as you do, and introduce your clients to your team in a warm, integrated way. Don’t just hand them off and run! Having your team on the same page and using warm introductions will go a long way to keeping clients on board.

You Run Late

As an agent, it’s very important to be on time – preferably a few minutes early – to any appointment, lunch, etc. Is there likely to be a lot of traffic or construction? Leave plenty of time to navigate. Even if you have a great story or excuse as to why you were late, the fact is that the client doesn’t care. They only care about their own schedule, and if you disrupt it, you are definitely losing the sale.

You Seem Desperate

When someone is looking for a date in a desperate way, they scare off all but the extremely sleazy members of the opposite sex. The same is true in real estate. If you seem super desperate, hoping to turn everyone you meet into a sale, you’ll scare off the good prospects. The only people who will give you the time of day are the ones who will waste your time, take advantage, and probably never give you a sale in the end. Relax – let your marketing do its work, and don’t be looking for “fresh meat” everywhere you go!

Your Website is Horribly Outdated

Websites get better every day, it seems, because the technology used to build them gets easier and easier for even a novice to use. If you’re not using an up-to-date website builder, or if your website is nothing but a bunch of tiny text jammed together, I guarantee you’re losing sales. People look online for real estate before they ever call an agent, so make sure your website is dressed to impress.

None of these six common mistakes is impossible to overcome. The biggest obstacle is often recognizing what the problem is. Once you figure it out, it becomes easy to make the corrections and get the sales you deserve. So whether you need to update your website, coach your team, or set your watch ahead, get on it! Stop losing sales over silly mistakes.

Do you see Realtors® losing sales for common, silly reasons? Share in the comments!

The Power of Total Commitment

Take the StairsI came across an amazing little anecdote recently. It went like this:

A man was going to the restroom when $5 fell out of his shirt pocket into the urinal. He stared at it for a minute, trying to decide what to do. He reached into his wallet, grabbed a $50 bill, and threw it in the urinal as well. A man nearby, watching all of this, exclaimed, “What are you doing?!” The first gentleman said, “Well, I wasn’t sure if $5 was worth it, but I know $55 is!” and grabbed the money from the urinal.

The point of this story, from the book Take the Stairs, is that when you have more skin in the game, you’re more dedicated. Having $55 invested instead of $5 can make all of the difference in the world when it comes to the level of your commitment.

Are you totally committed to your real estate business? One way to know is by looking at how much you’re putting in. Are you invested in your marketing? Are you investing in your own learning? Or are you simply doing the minimum, hoping for some success before you get motivated?

Take the Stairs is all about doing the hard thing now so that you can reap the “easy” rewards later. I recently saw an online post about a Realtor® trying to break into a new neighborhood. He said that when he was calling in the area, he was told “I already have an agent that I will use when that time comes who is an expert in this neighborhood, I won’t say her name but she’s the best.” A quick search revealed an agent who had consistently farmed the area and had great name recognition. She had been one of the few consistent agents in the neighborhood for the last 10 years.

So did this female agent have it easy? No! She did the hard work for 10 years, keeping her farming efforts consistent and branding herself as an expert in the neighborhood. Only now is she reaping the “easy” part – people who won’t even consider listing with another agent.

If, on the other hand, you don’t “take the stairs” – if you do the easy thing, like everyone else does, and take the elevator – you’ll be putting off the hard stuff until later. And it will be even harder then. Say you skip your 10 cold calls today. You’ll just do them tomorrow. So today is easy, sure – but tomorrow, you now have 20 calls. And it can continue building up like that, until you give up the effort entirely.

What’s more, when you do the same things as everyone else, you’ll have the same results as everyone else. Do you want that? The “elevator” results? Probably not – probably, you want to be uncommonly successful. Being uncommonly successful requires uncommon commitment – “taking the stairs”.

So take a look at yourself in the mirror. Ask yourself if you’re willing to “take the stairs” today so that you can reap the rewards in the future. Then do it again tomorrow. And the next day. Before you know it, years will pass and you’ll have a neighborhood that knows you’re the expert, and folks will think you “have it easy”.

What makes it hard for you to decide to “take the stairs”? Share in the comments!

How to Market to Millennials

Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are the age-range from 18-34 – today’s young adults and young professionals. They wield $1.3 trillion in annual buying power, and are incredibly diverse. Nearly 43% are non-white and 25% speaking a language other than English at home.

This is the generation most likely to be buying their first home, or expanding into a new home to accommodate a growing family. As a result, this demographic cannot be ignored by Realtors®. The question is, what’s the best way to market to millennials?

Recognize the Events that Shaped Them

Millennials are strongly shaped by the events of 9/11, as well as the general economic crash of 2008. Many of the graduated from school into a terrible recession and even now struggle to find work worthy of their education. They may have seen their parents struggle to hold on to their homes when the real estate bubble burst.

As a result, these young adults may not be as quick to buy into the “American Dream” of owning a home. They may see renting as a safer option, both economically and for their circumstances. It may take extra nurturing of this age group to encourage them to step up from renting a home to buying one. After all of the foreclosures they’ve seen, and the constant news of homeowners being underwater from 2008-2010, do you blame them?

You’ll have to gently encourage them to see home ownership as an accomplishment rather than a financial liability.

Respond Quickly to Inquiries, Then be Patient

You probably don’t need to be reminded that millennials are a fast-moving generation. These young adults have never known life without computers and the internet. As a result, they aren’t likely to wait around for you to get back to them when they submit an inquiry.

Inman recent published some sobering statistics about lead response time. Some of the highlights – or are they lowlights? – are below:

  • The average response time for an Internet lead is 44 hours.
  • 65 percent of all companies don’t nurture the lead.
  • Only 25 percent of all salespeople make two contact attempts.

While you need to respond quickly to get a millennial customer’s attention, remember that they will not necessarily respond quickly back to you. The Inman article goes on to point out that 80% of all transactions require five to 12 follow-ups.

Why? Millennials are on the go and try to do a lot at once. It’s easy for your first – or even second – response to get lost in the daily life of today’s young adult. Don’t give up. Reply quickly, and then be patient.

Build Relationships

Speaking of a generation that has grown up online, have you noticed how many more hucksters there seem to be than ever before? Yep, so have millennials. As a result, they don’t trust easily. You’ll have to build a relationship with them before they’ll become a loyal customer, full of referrals for you.

Fortunately, building relationships is largely done online. While some face-to-face interaction is wonderful (see my previous Leads over Lunch article), largely millennials prefer to talk electronically.

The great news for you is that this means that social media marketing, text marketing (via mobile phones), and email marketing are all great ways to nurture relationships with this key demographic. There’s one caveat – you have to actually care. If you fake it, they’ll know it, and you’ll be ignored in favor of your competitor.

Today’s millennials are in the perfect stage of life for purchasing their first and second homes. As a Realtor®, you ignore this demographic at your own risk. By recognizing the events that shaped them, responding quickly and then being patient, and building relationships with millennials, you’ll be tapping into a perfect customer base for your real estate practice.

How do you market to millennials? Share in the comments!

Why Realtors® Don’t Need More Leads

Why Realtors Don't Need More LeadsRealtors® need leads to survive. So why would I say that you don’t need more leads? Aren’t Realtors® always in need of more leads?

In a word, no. Very simply, what Realtors® really need is to be more effective with the leads you already have.

Did you know that 70% of leads are never followed up on? True story – I was meeting with a new Realtor® in my area over lunch. We were discussing the lead generation tactics in his agency, and he mentioned that one Realtor® had a drawing as part of an open house. To enter the drawing, visitors had to fill out their name, address, and phone number. I asked my friend what the other Realtor® had done with all those new leads he now had. My friend looked shy and said, “Well, he realizes that follow-up is his weak point.”

WHAT????

The Realtor® had gone to all that trouble to get information on dozens of visitors to his open house, and hadn’t done anything with the leads. NOTHING. And these were people looking to buy a home!

So that’s what I mean when I say you don’t need more leads. Chances are you have more leads than you are following up on. Until you’re effective in following up on what you have, you certainly don’t need more.

Lest I sound all “high and mighty”, let me tell you that I was just the same way. I was losing major sales because I simply couldn’t follow up on the leads I had. 70% of my leads were slipping through my hands, and I constantly had to generate more in order to survive. But not anymore. I’ve discovered how to capitalize on 100% – yes, 100% – of my leads. And you can too. Without breaking the bank.

I’ll share more on Thursday about the system I use to follow up automatically on my leads. It involves a very well-designed email automation program that saves me hours while earning me a lot of money. Until then, ask yourself the question I found myself asking several years ago – do you really need more leads? Or do you need to find a way to be more effective with the leads you have?

Where do you find yourself with leads? Do you have great follow up? Share in the comments!