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5 Steps for Creating Your Real Estate Marketing Plan

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Real Estate Marketing Plan

Do you create a marketing plan for your real estate business each year? If not, you are almost certainly leaving a lot of customers and money on the table. A real estate marketing plan shows you how your business goals will become reality. When you write it down, it’s a concrete document that will remind you of what you set out to accomplish and what you still need to do to get there.

Many Realtors® don’t write a plan because they aren’t sure where to start. Others may feel they don’t have time. However, without a plan, you won’t know where you’re going or how to get there! It’s one of the most important things you can do each year. Here are five steps to help you create your real estate marketing plan.

Decide What You Want

Setting concrete goals is the first step to your marketing plan. Decide what you want to accomplish by the end of the year. You can think in terms of listings, sales, overall income, or number of customers. You can also set goals in terms of name recognition, market share, or number of referrals received.

You’ll want to make sure each goal is SMART:

  • Specific: Rather than “grow” plan to “increase the number of listings this year”
  • Measurable: Rather than “increase listings”, plan to “increase listings by 20%”
  • Actionable: You should be able to take specific actions to accomplish the plan
  • Realistic: It should be something you can accomplish
  • Time-Bound: Set a deadline, like “By Dec 1” or “Before Jan 1”.

Define Your Market

Your market is probably defined by a specific geographic area and by the people that live in the area. Take time to write down all of the specific markets you serve. In my city in Iowa there’s a large university, so a Realtor® here might focus on groups from “college professors needing to upgrade” to “new graduates buying their first house”. There are also small cities very close by that have a large number of professionals and families, which provide additional markets.

Once you’ve written down all of the markets you have available in your area, you might choose just one or two to focus on for the next year. That way, you’ll have a manageable target for your marketing efforts.

Find Your Voice

The next step is to think about how you’re going to stand out to your target markets. What special value can you bring them? In my city, being a graduate of the local university could be a difference maker. You could leverage your role in a community or volunteer organization you care deeply about. Or, you could choose one of your market segments and concentrate on meeting their specific needs in an extremely focused way.

Once you find your voice, refine your marketing message. Decide what promises you want to make and fulfill to your target market groups. Write down several targeted offers that you want to present in your community.

Determine Your Tactics

Up to this point I haven’t talked about specific tactics, because deciding whether to blog, email market, use farming postcards, etc., doesn’t make sense until you’ve done the first three steps. Your tactics are determined by your goals, market segments, and voice.

Now that you have those laid out, determine which types of marketing would most likely reach the target markets you’ve chosen in a useful way. Older folks will be more receptive to mail, where younger folks may be a great group for email or social media marketing. In addition, think about what methods make the most sense based on the types of offers you plan to make.

Don’t use more than two tactics per marketing group to start with. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself or your community.

Follow Through

I’ve saved the best for last – take action! Unfortunately in every area of life people know far more information than they follow through on. Real estate agents are just as guilty of this as everyone else. Now that you’ve made your plan, WORK THE PLAN. Take the steps you need to take to reach your goals.

Every plan is subject to change. If you find that you need to adjust your plan in some way, do it. However, keep your goals clearly in your mind. Your methods may change, but you still want to create success each year. With your goals in mind and your plan in place, you will be well on your way to doing so.

Do you use a written marketing plan? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

5 Tips to Maximize Your Realtor® Website

Maximize Realtor Website

There are over 3 billion people in the world that use the internet. With that many people online, a Realtor® can’t afford to do without a website. However, there are so many websites online that it can be hard to know how to stand out. These five tips will show you how to maximize the effect of your website on your realty business.

Use Graphics and Have a Responsive Site

Graphics are an undeniable part of showing off your real estate business online. People love to see pictures, and having a great photo gallery of each listing will help generate interest and create buyers. However, it’s also important to have a “responsive” site, or one that adjusts to fit on the screens of mobile devices.

Many times, you can bypass knowing the nuts and bolts of website design by using pre-designed templates on a website service. Just make sure the service lets you have your own domain name, such as MyNameRealty.com. In addition, take advantage of slideshow templates that allow you to cycle photos of various listings and recent sales on the homepage.

Focus on the Visitors’ Perspective

Visitors to your site aren’t interested in you; they’re interested in how their own needs can be met. Be sure to set up your website and optimize it with this in mind. You’ll want to use keywords based on prospective clients’ needs, such as “moving in Atlanta” or “new homes in Charleston”.

When you write the content on your website, whether it’s a blog post or a property description, think about it from your visitors’ perspective. What would resonate with a potential buyer or seller? What do they need to know? What needs and fears can you address? When you focus your website on the visitor, you’ll stand out to the right people and your site will gain traction.

Link Your Social Media Accounts to Your Site

If you have active social media accounts – and as a Realtor®, you should – you’ll want to link them to your website. Not only should your social media posts invite viewers to visit your website, your website should also have links that encourage people to visit your social media accounts.

It’s always helpful to specify what you would like people to do when they visit your page. You can say things like “Follow me on Facebook!” or “Check out my latest pins!” These types of invitations will help people join you on all of your platforms, allowing them to receive information from you more often. That will keep you top-of-mind when they have a need!

Have a Blog that Informs More Than Sells

A blog ensures that new content will be created on your site frequently, which will help it rank highly in search engines. In addition, you can share your blog posts on social media to encourage viewers to visit your site and check out your listings.

However, your blog should be about more than your real estate business. You should use an 80/20 rule – 80% of your content can inform, educate, and entertain, while 20% can advertise your listings and recent successes. Sometimes a Realtor® has a hard time knowing exactly what to write about on a blog. If that’s you, check out this amazing list of 101 blog post ideas. You won’t lack inspiration ever again!

Focus on Lead Management Along With Lead Generation

As many Realtors® know, it’s not enough to just generate leads. It’s important to nurture those connections as well, so that they will come to you when they are ready to buy or sell a home. If you simply collect new contacts, you may lose out on old leads that are now ready for a Realtor®.

There are many ways to keep in touch with the network you create. Social media is one way, but you can also keep in touch from your website. Offer a monthly email newsletter highlighting what’s going in the neighborhoods you serve. You can use the newsletter to show of recent success stories you’ve had, and to congratulate new homeowners. This way, you don’t lose touch with leads that aren’t yet ready to act – and when they are, they will be more likely to come to you.

Having a website isn’t optional for Realtors®, even though the homes you sell are definitely not virtual. Using the five tips above will help you maximize your website results and help your realty business grow tremendously. The time you invest online will be handsomely rewarded!

FSBO Lead Generation Tactics – FREE Download

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Stop “Wishing” And Start “Doing”…Get Inspired!

real estate wishes come trueHow often do you say to yourself things like “I wish I had more clients” or “I wish I was doing more business” or “I wish I had more listings” wishing for this and wishing for that, hoping that if you keep “wishing,” it will come your way.  I was inspired to write this article by an electrician that is doing some work at my home who said to me “You’re lucky, I wish I could work at home.”  Luck has nothing to do with it and neither does wishing… 😉

I am “Hope” (Nadine means hope in Russian) and I hope reading this helps begin turning your wishes in to reality…or “realty”…whichever you prefer. :-)

I no longer “wish” for things like I used to for two reasons.

  1. Wishing for things doesn’t do anything to move me forward towards my goals and life ambitions. It certainly doesn’t get me any closer to my purpose to “wish.”
  2. If I’m wishing for something else, how am I appreciating what I have and living in the moment I’m in.  This moment is the only one I have, so instead of wishing for something else, I choose to be thankful for what “is.”

The definition of the word “wish”
To feel or express a strong desire or hope for something that is not easily attainable; want something that cannot or probably will not happen.

So my question to you is…do you want to keep “wishing” for something in your life, that according to the definition “cannot or probably won’t happen?”  Or are you more in tuned with “doing” something that leads you to where you’re going?  If it’s the latter, I have some ideas I wanted to share to help you get to “doing” instead of wishing, which leads nowhere.

As a Realtor®, you are in the lead generation business and must keep yourself busy “doing” activities that result in getting more leads for your database.  Leads turn in to listings when you work them.

  • Talk to 10 people per day.  Just make contact with 10 people.  Don’t sell them real estate, just keep in touch and find out how you can serve.  When you keep in touch and are always ready to serve the needs of others, things just work out and the magic happens.
  • Visit no less than 10 properties in your market per week.  The best way to keep yourself educated and up to date on the market and what’s happening in it is to be “in” it.  Get out of your office, get out of your house, step away from whatever it is that distracts you and “be” a Realtor® by “doing” the things Realtors® do when they are working and lead generating.
  • Participate in Social Media.  Social media isn’t going anywhere and if you’re not participating, you’re missing out on a huge amount of opportunity to build your reputation as well as your brand.  You’re missing out on the opportunity to meet up with people on line, keep in touch and remind people you’re a Realtor®!!!  Many friendships and relationships are established on social media sites like Facebook.  It gives people a glimpse of who you are, what you stand for and what’s most important to you.  Concerned about privacy…don’t post what you don’t want people to see!  Simple.
  • Attend networking events.  You’ll meet a lot of local people at networking events.  You must “list to last” and the people who are local to your community are the ones you want to network with.  They are attending networking events to “network,” so get out there and network, finding out how you can serve each others businesses.
  • Be of service. Being of service in your community and the community you serve, serves everyone.  When we serve others, it all comes back around 10 fold.  Getting involved in community events helps you to get to know the community and the leaders of the community.  They’re the ones who making things happen in the community you serve and will direct people your way when they see you’re commitment to the common goals of a great community.
  • Be consistent with your marketing.  Marketing is like food for your business and without it, your business can’t survive.  Have a real estate marketing budget, work your budget by working your database via mail, phone and email.

If you had a wish list in your real estate business, I hope after reading this you put wishing aside and start doing to make it all happen.  Your life and your real estate business is where it is because you set it up that way based on what you do or don’t do.  Start doing something different and something different will come your way as a result.

Be blessed!  Keep me posted on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn on how these ideas worked to change something in your business.

 

 

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!

 

The Best Open House Marketing I’ve Ever Seen!

Open house marketing

Flag at neighborhood entrance

I had the pleasure of stopping off to see an open house today on a listing presented by Brian Cross…and I absolutely loved his open house marketing!  Brian understands what it takes to have a successful open house AND he understands that the neighbors coming by to visit leads to the possibility of more listings in the neighborhood.  After all, activity breeds more activity.

Let me share what I know of Brian’s marketing plan…it’s pretty extraordinary!

  • He starts by sending out Just Listed postcards to make sure the neighbors know the home has been listed for sale.
  • Prior to the open house, he sends invitations out to 200 of the neighboring homes for a “neighbors only” showing.  A time he sets aside when the home isn’t open the rest of the public, just the neighbors.  He hires teenagers to walk the neighborhood and get his flyers/invites out.
  • He has balloons on every one of his many open house signs leading to the open home.
  • There is a huge flag placed at the entrance to the neighborhood advertising the “event.”
  • The home has an “air dancer/sky puppet” in front so there is no possibility of missing it being “open.”
Open house marketing

Sky Dancer! Open House Here!!!!

That’s just getting people in the door.  Once arriving at the open house, I was greeted by one of his buyer agents Paulina, who walked me through the house, telling me of the home’s features.  While we walked through the house, she had the opportunity to qualify me.  Find out what made me stop by, am I in the market, do I have an agent I’m working with, what am I looking for, etc. etc.  It was executed perfectly from a standpoint of collecting a potential lead.

Agents who sit at the kitchen table and allow people to walk through the home and have a look are missing the point of holding a house open.  It isn’t just to sell the home that’s been listed, it’s all about collecting leads and meeting and greeting the people who are in the market for a new home.

Before leaving, I was introduced to Brian, my information was collected on a sign in sheet and I was given a gift for stopping by.  A custom imprinted pen/stylus for my tablet, which I really appreciated.  Who doesn’t need a pen!  The stylus was a huge bonus and a great gift.

Brian and his team have an amazing strategy for using their open houses to sell homes and collect leads to keep their pipeline of business full.  I hope his strategies give you some ideas of how you can capitalize on the opportunities of the people who walk through the front door of your next open house.

Visit PrinterBees for pricing on any of the above mentioned real estate marketing ideas for your next open house. We’ve got you covered!

 

Why you NEED to send out open house invites to the neighbors…More Secrets I Share With Friends

real estate listing flier sampleMy next door neighbor recently listed her home for sale and this Saturday it was held open for the first time. What a spectacular home! Over 5000 sq. ft. of pure beauty, and the agent who has the home listed had really nice marketing materials to match the elegance of the home.  Trust me when I tell you, my photos of his marketing materials don’t do them justice, but it is a 11X17 folded brochure, printed on 14 pt. cover stock and it’s beautiful.  This listing flier is so eye-catching that as my children passed by it on the kitchen counter, they all stopped and took note of it.  Each of them said “Wow, this is one of the nicest marketing pieces I’ve seen in a long time,”  and they see a lot of marketing pieces.  His business card is printed on a 16pt. matte finish with gold foil printing and they definitely stand out.

Here’s my one problem with his approach to marketing this house.  He didn’t let any of us (the neighbors) know it would be open on Saturday. This agent clearly understands that marketing is a necessary investment with the look of his marketing materials. They’re stunning!

My thoughts are that those marketing materials would impress a lot of the people in this neighborhood if they were invited to stop by. Open houses are “nosy neighbor magnets!” Nosy neighbors who are many times interested in home values, the market and in many cases trying to determine if it’s a good time to sell. Neighbors are like low hanging fruit on the tree of real estate agent leads, you just need to harvest them by inviting them to stop by.

Here’s some ideas on how to invite the neighbors:

  • Go door knocking and personally invite them, provide them with a listing flyer in the event they can’t make it.  Make sure to ask them if they have any questions about the market.
  • Use services like Cole Information Systems to get a current mailing list of the surrounding homes and call those that have phone numbers, invite them to stop by. (Mention this magazine/PrinterBees when contacting Cole and receive a 25% discount!)
  • Send out Just Listed/Open House postcards with an invitation to stop by. (Cole Information Systems provides the needed mailing list)
  • Use door hangers as you walk the neighborhood and become a familiar face.
  • Include a sign rider on your for sale sign saying “open this weekend.”
  • Hire some teenagers to hand out “Open House Fliers” to advertise the upcoming event and so they know they’re invited.

Activity breeds activity and people like doing business with someone they view as successful and busy. You’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to grow real estate business if you’re not exploiting the opportunities you have to be in front of people, while you have the activity of a listing.

The Secrets I Share With Friends: How To Get More Leads From Your Website

Nadine Larder: The Secrets I Share With FriendsWebsites and internet marketing strategies play an important role in the success of any real estate business in this day and age.  It’s been proven time and time again that 90% of all new home searches begin on-line.  Having a well built, user friendly website always leads to more leads and listings and using these tips will help you get a much higher conversion rates from the visitors who do stop by your site.

Make these minor adjustments to your website and watch the leads start coming in.

All websites need a contact form. People don’t like giving out their email addresses until they are absolutely ready to do so. When you only supply an email address as a means of contacting you, the person must reveal who they are and chance ending up on a spam list. Many people aren’t willing to do that. They want their questions answered, in the method that works best for them, maybe they prefer a phone call. Providing a contact form is also the easiest way for someone to be in touch. The easier you make it for people to do what you want them to do, the more likely they are to “do it”.

Get more leads by offering a coupon right on the front page of your website. Doing so on the PrinterBees site resulted in a large surge of business because we know who our visitors are and can maintain contact with them. The coupon is emailed out and we are able to keep in touch with the people who have shown interest in our business printing services via email, being proactive. We aren’t waiting and hoping for prospects to use the coupon they’ve requested, we email them a few times over a 30 day period reminding them that they downloaded a coupon and should use it before it expires. The best way to understand our process is to go to the PrinterBees home page and request a coupon and experience it first hand. It’s an award winning campaign that results in a tremendous amount of business.

As a Realtor®, you can offer coupons and offers for local services or local business.  Partner with a small business in town to peddle their products/services as a way to collect leads.  Make sure the business you partner with compliments and attracts the kind of leads that match the profile of someone that would at some point be in the market to buy or sell a home.  Get creative with it.

Make sure you’re contact information is on every page so people never have to hunt for it. Website visitors should never have to hunt on a website for how to reach you. It should be present on every page and obvious.

The website needs to act as a sales person, providing all of the information regarding your real estate business that people want to know is essential.  Take the most frequently asked questions about your real estate practice, the area, neighborhoods, area events, and make sure the website answers all of them. You’ll get way more leads that way.

Include a way to schedule an appointment on-line.  It could be as simple as something on your contact form.  This subject deserves a dedicated blog post, coming soon.

Give something valuable away on your website. Providing something free on your site is the absolute BEST way to collect email addresses from prospects that match your customer profile so you can later market to them via email. E-books, free reports, and some of the free downloads available on this site will work too!

Automate your follow-up with programs like Constant Contact or Infusionsoft. You can’t go wrong with automating follow-up as long as you keep it personal and free of spammy email marketing.

Include a blog. It’s not only Imperative if you wish to have the search engines sending you traffic, it’s a reason for prospects and clients to visit the site repeatedly. It’s also the perfect platform for updates and announcements, neighborhood information, market updates, showing your expertise, bragging, etc.

Implement these changes one by one and watch what happens. These minor changes WILL result in major improvements over time.

Make sure you subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Magazine to make sure you don’t miss the latest and greatest information about how to build and maintain your real estate business!  It’s published only twice a month, and it’s only the BEST stuff!

How Realtors Can Have A Kick Ass Marketing List And Get More Listings

mailing lists for small businessIt’s my perception that one of things that stands in the way of a Realtor® getting their marketing out is the need of a mailing list. It’s a very common question we get at PrinterBees when a real estate agent wants to begin a marketing campaign. We always…always…ALWAYS suggest beginning with your sphere of influence to create a great mailing list. But…For some agents, contacting their sphere of influence is so far out of their comfort zone they can’t bring themselves to do it. While I may not agree, I do understand which is why I’m offering up another solution.

If you’re considering a postcard marketing campaign, you need a good mailing list as one of the main ingredients for success. Without a quality mailing list, your marketing efforts may go to waste. The quality of your marketing piece and your database are crucial to the success of any real estate marketing postcard campaign.

It took about five years of hunting before I was able to find a company that offers this service, and I was elated when we found Cole Information Systems as a resource for our real estate and small business clients. Cole offers the ability to search addresses in a radius, by neighborhood, by demographics, home size and so many other variables to help you hone in on which are the right prospects to receive your marketing.

One of the examples I use in the book (The Secrets I Share With Friends, Everything I Know About Building A Small Business) is the marketing of a daycare center. If the owner of a daycare center wants to increase enrollment, marketing to a senior citizen community won’t likely do the trick. Marketing to a neighborhood that’s close to an elementary school, making sure the list includes homes with three or more bedrooms is going to provide a far better opportunity for finding the right audience. Cole’s service provides this capability and more.

The biggest benefit I see with using Cole is that they are a subscription based company which allows you do download and search as many addresses as you want. Not to mention that their databases are current. You aren’t paying for each address, so there’s no sticker shock, it’s a low flat fee. I’m not sure of the current price, but it’s super super reasonable. WAY less than buying lists.

I begged them for a deal for my friends and customers and I’m happy to tell you that you will receive a 25% discount when you mention PrinterBees or Real Estate Marketing Magazine when you sign up. I recommend getting a demo so you can see with your own eyes what the fuss is all about. It will also save you a tremendous amount in postage costs simply by not mailing to bad addresses.

Use Referral Code: PrinterBees
Use Referral Code: PrinterBees or Real Estate Marketing Magazine to Save 25%

Here’s their information:
Cole Information Systems
http://www.coleinformation.com
800-800-3271

P.S. Make sure you subscribe and get your copy of Real Estate Marketing Smarts, The Secrets I Share With My Friends. Once you get your list in order, you might need some tips on marketing to it.