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Archive for New Year

Why December is Perfect for Investing in Your Marketing

Invest in real estate marketing

I can think of a lot of things December is perfect for.

Hot chocolate. Christmas carols. Shopping. Gingersnaps. Family.

Oh, and investing in your real estate marketing! 

Now before you tell me I’ve had a little too much eggnog for my own good, let me explain. December is a perfect time to invest in marketing – for several reasons.

Get Your Year Off to a Great Start!

First and foremost, investing in your marketing in December allows you to get your year off to a great start. Whether you want to revamp your branding, rework your website, or just refresh your business cards, nothing feels better than hitting January 1 ready to go.

In real estate, the late fall and winter can be slower times in our businesses. That makes it the perfect time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in 2017.

Find ways to increase your focus on successful marketing and cut back on unsuccessful outreach. Try new things. If you haven’t used postcards before, for instance, take a look at our farming postcards! Try sending out one per quarter in 2018, using a mailing list or Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM).

December is the perfect time to create your 2018 marketing plan and invest in the resources you need to make it happen. Get out a calendar, mark down outreach dates, and have your best year ever!

Hello, Mr. Taxman…

…or Taxwoman!

April is everyone’s favorite month, right? Maybe not. But it can be a lot better if you’ve invested in your real estate marketing in December!

All of your real estate marketing purchases are part of your business expenses, meaning that you can write them off against your income. That makes THIS MONTH your last chance to lower next year’s tax bill!

Don’t wait until January to get those business cards or postcards ordered. Do it now, and not only will you start the year strong, you’ll get a big dose of relief at tax time.

Make the Most of Your Winter – Plan for Spring

In no way do we advocate letting your marketing hibernate this winter – you have to stay consistent if you want to have business in the spring. However, it’s common that spring and summer are the heaviest marketing time of year.

It’s also common that spring and summer are the heaviest work time of year as well, however, and sometimes marketing competes with work – and loses.

You can avoid this turmoil by planning ahead. Order postcards to be printed with Printerbees, and let us mail them for you at the right times. We can use EDDM or your mailing list. Either way, you won’t be wasting valuable work time in May running to the post office!

Plan ahead for local events you know you’re going to sponsor or attend as well – that way you can keep the calendar around it clear. Set up times for pop-bys.

By putting everything on the calendar now, you’ll be able to see if you’re overscheduling, or if you have one heavy marketing month and one with nothing in it. Move things around accordingly. If you have two local events in June, focus your pop-bys in July.

When you plan ahead, you can move into the spring and summer knowing that both your marketing and your workload are planned and manageable – which means you’ll be much more successful!

Now’s the Time – Don’t Put it Off!

December will be over before you know it, in a whirl of presents, cocoa, carols, and gingersnaps. Take time now – before the holidays get really busy – to plan and order your marketing for next year.

It only takes a couple of hours, and it can save you big – both at tax time and during the spring and summer next year!

 

Need help planning your marketing? We’re here for you. Contact us for a free marketing plan session today!

New Ways to Approach Real Estate Marketing in 2017

New Ways to Approach Real Estate Marketing in 2017

The new year is rapidly approaching, and new marketing techniques can help you stay competitive. Of course, the old standbys of farming, using just sold and just listed postcards, and following up with expired listings will always be important.

But technology has given Realtors® unique approaches as well, and it’s important to know about them so that you can experiment and stay ahead of the curve.

Virtual Staging

You can save thousands of dollars by using virtual staging instead of having a stager set a home for you. Virtual staging is a growing trend as more and more buyers rely on online pictures and online videos to review homes.

With virtual staging, you can show what a home would look like with furniture, artwork, rugs, plants and more. Because buyers often narrow down their home choices online before deciding to view a home in person, your virtual staging can be a vital part of showing your listing in the best light.

If you’re concerned about buyers being disappointed to find that the home isn’t actually staged, you can put a high-quality printed image of the virtual staging in each room. This can help buyers remember what it looked like furnished, while also being able to imagine where they might put their own belongings in the empty home.

Use Drones to Create Videos and Photos

Drones are the newest disruptor in real estate marketing. With a drone to take high-quality photographs and create video of a property, you can have eye-catching listing photos that will help you stand out from the pack.

A flying camera can allow you to get aerial photos of a property, showcasing a swimming pool, incredible deck, and beautiful porch – all at once! You can also use it to show off the dramatic views available around the home.

A drone can also allow you to create videos in a seamless fly-around style, giving the ability to showcase the interior and exterior of a home in a way that has never been available before. The FAA has exemptions available for commercial drone operation, including use for real estate marketing.

Not only will this help you sell homes for top dollar, having drone marketing as part of your strategy will help you win listings because it will show that you are a tech-savvy Realtor® who takes advantage of every marketing opportunity.

Encourage Sellers to Install Home Automation

Having a “smart home”, or certain elements of the home’s operation automated and accessible via mobile devices can add to a home’s value. It can also help a home sell more quickly and draw a lot of additional interest in the listing.

Adding a good-quality home automation system can add 3% – 7% to a home’s value. The best systems focus on lighting control, security, and temperature control. Buyers can save money on utilities and gain peace of mind about their home while they are traveling or out of the house.

Installing home automation doesn’t have to be expensive, but keep in mind that the lowest-level automation systems won’t have the same effect on the home’s perceived value as better systems. Encourage homeowners to choose a reputable, full-featured service. They’ll gain back far more than the purchase price.

Technology has changed real estate marketing dramatically in the last five years. It will continue to impact how real estate agents market homes and assist buyers. While print marketing and other traditional techniques will always be relevant, you can improve the results by integrating other marketing methods like the three I mentioned here.

Are you ready to set up your 2017 print marketing? If you order in 2016, you’ll be able to write off the investment on your taxes next year. We have some great deals going on – contact us to find out more!

Six Ways to Start the New Year with a Bang!

New Year with a Bang

Who’s ready for a massive 2016?

Every results-driven Realtor® wants to improve each year. But that’s easier said than done.

So, let’s take a look at 6 high-impact/ low-cost ways to make 2016 your best year to date.

1. Stop Trying to Manage Time. Manage Yourself

This isn’t something that only Realtors® do. It’s a mistake people in every sector do.

It’s a simple mental tweak. Stop trying to get more out of the day; try to get more from yourself.

“When you view time as an external that must be managed, it’s common to feel as if you are constantly racing the clock. ‘Time’ is in control — not you. To take control, view your day as a series of choices,” advises Bernice Ross of Inman.com.

2. Reward Yourself with the Fun Tasks

Is there a task that you struggle with? Do you even struggle to get started on it, because you hate it? Get that out of the way, first thing in the morning, so you have the rest of the day to look forward to.

“If your day’s tasks require an activity that you aren’t fond of, do it first thing. Getting past it will give you a lift and make the rest of the day a pleasure. It’s also best to do those hated things when you’re fresh,” wrote expert James Kimmons.

“I always have to do the things I most want to avoid first on my list.  I can look forward to more fun things, rather than the other way around.”

3. Take Your Website Mobile

If you haven’t done this yet, get on it! You need to get this done as soon as possible. In 2015, Google reported that mobile internet traffic now exceeds desktop traffic. Your customers (or would-be customers) are looking at houses on their smartphones. Smart Realtors® have websites that can accommodate them.

“You cannot avoid it anymore. Your website and emails need to be designed for all devices and screen sizes and be responsive. Sixty-six percent of emails are opened on a phone or tablet. Facebook has more than 650 million daily active users on mobile devices,” said R. K. Shrivastaw in a recent LinkedIn post.

“In short, there are plenty of reasons why you need to be sure that your business is mobile ready.”

4. Write Better Headlines and Subject Lines

This is a big one. And should be your New Year’s Resolution every year.

Dull, templated or spammy subject lines are the quickest way for your emails to be ignored, or flagged as junk.

Remember, people don’t make rational decisions; they make emotional decisions and then rationalize them. So write headlines and leads that tap into the buyer/ seller’s emotions and pain points.

Don’t worry. It will take time. And there will always be room to improve.

5. Revisit Your Personal Brand

The New Year is the perfect time to revisit your brand.

It can be hard to brand yourself, but it’s not that different than branding a big company. Too many Realtors® use clichés and say that they’re “trustworthy” or that “they know the area.” These attributes are not only oversold, they’re also somewhat common sense.

Kelle Sparta recently explored her branding efforts and said, “My own strengths were educating my clients, having a deep understanding of them and their needs, and being a true advocate for them.”

“A part of any presentation I gave was the phrase, ‘I won’t always tell you what you want to hear, but I’ll always tell you what you need to know.’”

A great way to further your brand is to review and update your printed materials, especially your business cards. Update your picture, review your tagline, and get noticed!

6. Further Your Education

There is always an opportunity for Realtors’ to better themselves with more training. It’s not hard to find classes, seminars and networking events aimed at Realtors®. But, feel free to step outside the box a bit.

Maybe you could take part in an online training session about Twitter and small business? Anything to help you grow your reach.

 

How are you planning to make 2016 the best year ever? Let us know in the comments below.