Sometimes it's hard to know who may be on the cusp of deciding to sell their home. Other times, there are very clear signs that someone may need the services of a real estate agent. That sign might be an actual For-Sale-By-Owner sign in a front yard. Or it could be in the form of a home categorized as an “expired listing.”
The people in these two categories are or have recently been motivated to sell. One of them is testing the waters without a real estate agent, while the other may be disappointed that their home did not sell the first time around. Both may be open to help from an expert. That expert could be you, if you can get their attention.
That's where targeted marketing postcard campaigns come in. Here's how to run a successful postcard campaign to these specific homeowners:
Still not convinced that postcards work?
- Keep updated records on the recent for-sale-by-owner properties, and the listings that have been allowed to expire. This is how you build your prospecting list.
- Schedule postcards to be sent every few days for one to two months. Like most print marketing, consistency is key. These homeowners may need to see your face several times before taking action.
- Put a very clear and concise message on a colorful, well-designed postcard that will catch their attention. Selling their house is already top-of-mind for these prospects. When your message is “I see you're trying to sell your house and here's what I can do for you,” that message will resonate.
- According to a USPS Household Diary Study, people are reading postcards at an increasing rate, with a 3.9 percent increase from year-to-year.
- Young adults love getting mail. The 18-29 age group doubled their response rates to direct mail in 2016.
- Direct mail is cost-effective. The American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) urged the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to make direct mail more affordable, and it worked. The PRC has approved an increase in the break point for Standard Mail flats from 3.3 ounces to 4.0 ounces. This means sending targeted marketing postcards in bulk is even more affordable than before.
- According to MarketingSherpa.com, consumer goods companies have been successful in sending targeted direct mail. Only 10 percent of customers of those companies said the ads did not fit their needs and seemed targeted toward a different demographic. The very definition of targeted marketing means you're staying relevant to your recipients.
To get a jump on your targeted marketing postcard campaign, check out our postcards and other marketing materials at tpmco.com or call 800.458. 8245 for assistance from our experts!
Marketing is hard. It takes time, money, more time, effort, and – did we mention – more time? It’s one of those aspects of your business that you know is important, but it consistently gets pushed to the back burner because more urgent matters demand your attention.
While you’ve been busy meeting with clients, selling houses and planning your business strategy, we’re continually defining and refining the perfect marketing formula for real estate agents.
Step 1: Make that first impression.
Business cards are a staple of the industry. They validate your credibility. They serve as the first touch point for many of your prospects and clients. Your cards need to present your name, face and contact information in an appealing, professional format. Never be caught without one. Great leads may cross your path when you least expect them.
Step 2: Build relationships.
Use postcards and newsletters to get your name and face in front of more prospects and clients. Colorful newsletters and postcards are high-impact mailings that stand out in a stack of mail. They provide value to the recipient that they weren’t expecting – like a seasonal recipe card, or tips on improving your home’s curb appeal. Our postcards and newsletters are most effective when used to consistently farm the same neighborhoods where you’re trying to cultivate new business.
Step 3: Sustain those relationships.
Congratulations, you’ve closed a sale! Now don’t let those clients lose track of you. Satisfied former clients are the most valuable people in your database. If they are happy with their experience, they will refer you to their friends and use you again when the time comes – but only if you stay in touch. Enroll each client in your Client Follow-Up program, and for the next five years we will continue to send them postcards along with Today's Living magazine, which is published twice a year. Each time one of your mailings lands in their mailbox, clients will see your smiling face – and your name will be branded on their brain as the only REALTOR they'll ever need.
And that’s it! Three steps is all you need. The best part? We can automate this whole process for you. You can trust us, because we’ve been doing this since 1978. Our method is simple, and it works.
We know that every agent has a unique market. We’d love to chat with you about your personal marketing strategy, and how we can help. Call us at 800.458.8245 and a real, live human will be ready to talk with you.
Ready to ramp up your social media game? It might be time to go live. Live video is one of the latest trends on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Many other apps and services also exist to give followers a real-time experience.
As a REALTOR, you can use these platforms to highlight what you do each day. Go live for open houses and tours, and show off special home features to potential buyers. Here are a few tips to best serve your clients and to grow your business through live video.
Time it right. In order for people to watch, you'll want to pay attention to the timing of your post. Depending on the platform, live video can have a short shelf-life. Posting during the work day can be difficult to attract viewers who are at the office. Giving your followers a heads-up or doing a countdown allows everyone interested to make time in their schedules to tune in.
Stay professional. Leave your personal life out of it and only post live videos, which pertain to work, to your business accounts. Your followers want to see what you can offer as a REALTOR, not what you did on your recent family vacation. If you post from home, stay professional and be sure to feature topics that will interest your followers.
Be engaging. On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, your followers can post questions. Watch the comments so that you can answer each question promptly. Remember, interaction is a two-way street. Pose questions to your viewers, such as asking for their opinions and letting them choose what they want to see next.
Get creative! Always have a purpose for your live video. You don't have to script every word, but you should go into your video with a plan. For example, walk your viewers through an open house, or go live to show off an attractive remodeled kitchen. Mix it up and don't be afraid to show some personality. Use creative shots and show your followers all that a home (and you) have to offer.
The more people you know, the more people will refer you to their best friend's neighbor's cousin who wants to move and needs a REALTOR®. The key to more listings is simple – network! We can't say it enough.
There aren't special magic tricks that will keep the listings rolling in. While you can easily Google new sales techniques, there is one truth you need in your possession: the more people you know, the more opportunities you will have.
It can be easy, in the business world, to see every person as a potential deal with a dollar sign attached. We are programmed to be intentional about our craft, but we often forget how to connect with potential clients. Here are five strategies you can use today to nab more listings:
Consistent communication can influence prospective clients to reach out to you to list their home. For more tips and networking tools, go to tpmco.com or call 800.458.8245.
- Say yes –It's hard to meet new people if you are only connecting with old friends and associates from work. When an invitation to a new event comes your way, say yes! This is a networking opportunity that allows you to make new friends and expand your circle of acquaintances.
- Farm neighborhoods – Use postcards, newsletters and other marketing materials to continually remind potential clients that you are ready to help them when they're ready to buy or sell. Each month, your face and contact information will appear in their mailboxes, ensuring that you won't be forgotten when the right time arrives.
- Give, give, give – No one likes a pushy, opportunistic salesperson. In fact, people may start to avoid you if you approach every conversation with a sales pitch. Instead, look for opportunities to provide a service or lend a hand to others. The more you help friends, neighbors and strangers, the more they will want to help you when the opportunity arises.
- Stay informed – Keep up to date on real estate trends in your area. When it's a seller's market, send your clients and prospects a postcard to get them thinking about making a move. Use “Just Listed” or “Just Sold” postcards to show people how their neighbors are capitalizing on the market. Informed prospects make great clients.
- Find clues – People going through a divorce, expanding their family, sending kids off to college, or having large garage sales may all be looking to transition out of their current living situation. Reaching out to these people during times of change reminds them that you are available to help them.
We are constrained by time. We check our watches, set timers and alarms, and constantly need “just five more minutes.” Sometimes life can feel like an endless, exhausting race against the clock. Managing time can be a hard game to win, but managing your energy can change your life.
How do you manage energy? Great question! Think of your energy levels like a bank. You can make both deposits and withdrawals. Unlike time, you can add more energy and take more out as needed. You can renew your energy levels throughout the day, while still completing tasks that require large amounts of energy.
Energy management is mindful and intentional without being draining. It's not like counting calories or minutes. You have to feel your own energy and take opportunities to adjust. Perhaps you have low energy in the morning. Take this time to make energy deposits like enjoying a cup of coffee, working out or spending time journaling. Find an activity that leaves you feeling renewed so you can take on the day.
Around lunch your energy may be low again. Use your lunch break to renew by going for a walk, listening to a podcast or reading an article that inspires you. Give yourself the chance to refill your energy levels without any guilt. Taking this chance to make an energy deposit can allow you to tackle big afternoon projects with a fresh mindset.
When you complete a task that gives you an energy burst, don't waste it. Strike while the iron is hot and get some real work done! A huge part to energy management is knowing yourself and knowing when you do your best work. If you are someone who experiences a runner's high, then hit the gym before the office. If you are a night owl, use that late-night energy to crank out emails or work on a project.
While it can be tempting to focus on beating the clock, focusing on time management will leave you drained. Maximize your life by organizing your day according to your energy levels to get the most out of yourself and your day without feeling useless afterwards.
Have you ever met someone who just lights up a room? Someone who is everyone's friend. Someone who always has a smile across their face. They are easy to talk to and make you feel important, like they are really listening to what you have to say. You want to hang out with them, and wish you could be more like them. What is that special something these people have? Charisma.
Being a charismatic person means leading people in a way that lets them feel involved, not commandeered. People are attracted to someone with charisma because it feels like talking to a genuine friend – someone who is trustworthy, knowledgeable and fun to be around.
If you're thinking charisma is something that could set you apart in the world of real estate, you're right.
You don't have to be born with special abilities to have charisma. It's a trait anyone can develop through intentional pursuit. Here's how:
Have conversations with people, not for them. When you talk to someone, it should feel like a two-way street. You both are engaged, listening intently and responding appropriately and thoughtfully. No one wants to be talked at. If you find yourself speaking without real purpose, take a step back and re-direct your thoughts to focus more on the person with whom you are holding a conversation. People with charisma make the person they are listening to feel like the most important speaker in the room.
Get comfortable. If you find yourself feeling self-conscious and awkward, you will likely not exude charisma. Start by preparing yourself for success. Wear clothes you feel good in, arrive to meetings and appointments early so you aren't rushed, and think about topics to discuss so you feel prepared. Do what you can to ensure that you are comfortable, so that you can focus on others.
Keep the mood light. People gravitate to the person who can keep a conversation flowing. If a meeting seems tense or a client is getting cold feet, don't add to the emotional discourse of the conversation. Point out the positive aspects of a situation, remind others of a common goal, and lessen the extremes of any issues without dismissing the problem. This doesn't mean cracking jokes at inappropriate times. It simply means reassuring people so they can continue to let ideas and conversation flow freely with less tension.
Make the first move. Charismatic people aren't the ones sitting in the corner waiting for others to approach them. The person with the most charisma in the room is welcoming others to the conversation. They are the first to say “hello” to the new person. They shake hands and hug, making friends with everyone. This doesn't mean being the most extroverted person, but a charismatic person possesses a warmth that makes clients, friends and strangers feel comfortable even in new situations.
When attempting to make a deal, the ABCs of business quickly come to mind: Always Be Closing. We are told over and over that completing the transaction between the buyer and seller is the ultimate endgame, but it's time to change that.
The pushy salesperson persona is overplayed and outdated. Today, people have a plethora of choices when it comes to hiring someone for a job (like choosing a real estate professional). To be at the top of your game, you need to have an edge. If you are so concerned about what others can do for you, or closing a deal, then you won't build a connection with the actual people you want to serve. Find your edge by adopting a new sales motto: ABG – Always Be Giving.
This idea of ABG comes from The Art of Charm podcast, as a simple, yet groundbreaking way to make connections with real people. Host Jordan Harbinger's method implies that your first thought when you meet someone new should be, “What can I offer this person?” Or, “How can I make this person's life easier?”
This sets you up to make connections and build relationships. You may be able to refer your plumber to an acquaintance or connect an engaged couple with your neighbor who bakes wedding cakes. Having the ability to give a new friend or acquaintance something they need creates a bond. This bond will last longer than a quick business transaction.
When people learn to like you because you're friendly, caring and giving, they will naturally want to reciprocate. Down the road, they may refer a home buyer to you or ask for your help putting their house on the market. People will do this because they have a relationship with you that would not exist if you were always just trying to sell them something.
However, it's important to keep in mind that this method cannot come with expectations. You can't keep score or expect anything in return. This way of connecting with people is purely a relationship-building tool. The key to building your client list is to make genuine connections that can lead to referrals. What better way to be referred than by someone who knows you, likes you and trusts you?
There are many ways to go above and beyond to turn a business deal into a relationship-building moment. Each interaction between you and your customers can become a memorable part of their home buying and/or selling process. With a positive attitude and sharp attention to detail, you can ensure all your clients' memories are positive ones. Then, when they're faced with an opportunity to refer you to a friend, or repeat the selling process again, they will be eager to return to you.
Here are a few tips to personalize your clients' experience:
Use their names.
During each walk-through, ask if the home feels like it could be the future “Smith Residence,” using your clients' last name. Instead of referring to a room as the “kid's” bedroom, point out how much their daughter Annie will love the closet space. And don't forget to mention how much Duke and Rex, the family dogs, will enjoy the spacious backyard.
If your clients have to rush off to make their son's baseball game, be sure to ask how it went next time you interact with them. If you hear your clients mention that they like to entertain, show them homes with ample space to accommodate visitors. Maintaining an authentic interest in their lives shows that you aren't just selling a property, you are finding them a home.
Maintain a friendly tone.
It's easy to get lost in business talk when discussing prices and market trends, but don't forget that clients are people too. Buying and selling a home is a financial transaction, but it doesn't have to be so serious and robotic. Every once in a while, have a meeting in a local coffee shop or celebrate a final sale with lunch to show clients that you are more than their agent, you're their friend.
Ask for input.
Ask questions so you can stay aware of your clients' feelings and in tune with their thought processes. People want to feel that they are being heard, so ask for their input and do your best to respond to the information they provide. As a rule of thumb, always listen more than you speak.
Make it fun!
Buying or selling a home can naturally bring about stress and anxiety for your clients. After long days of attending open houses or touring homes, be sure to keep energy up by making things fun. Keep your sense of humor and fill downtime with light conversation. Take notice when your clients seem energized and when they are wearing out, and respond accordingly. A happy client is more likely to refer you to friends and keep in touch next time they need your help.
Being in sales means constantly testing your confidence. You’re told “no” time and time again, but you cannot waiver. You must carry on because your livelihood depends on it. Keep your confidence soaring so that you can keep closing deals. Here’s how:
Look good, feel good.
When you know you look good, you feel more confident. You’re prepared to tackle a big sales pitch or a meeting with a client. Recreate that feeling when you know you'll need a boost of confidence. Everyone you cross paths with will notice the extra pep in your step, and you will command attention without having to utter a word.
Know your stuff.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by being under-prepared. Talented public speakers talk effortlessly because they know their material inside and out. They can ad-lib and answer questions on the fly because they know their stuff. You’re only as good as your training. If you practice with notes, you may not be able to continue on without your notes. Practice until you feel confident that you could make your sales presentation in your sleep.
Set yourself up for success.
Front-load your week with the sales opportunities and meetings you are most confident will end in success. By building your week with wins early on, you will boost your confidence and be ready to tackle whatever else comes your way at the end of the week.
Become an expert.
Knowledge can be a powerful tool. Be at the top of your game by staying informed of changes in your industry. The more you know, the better you can pitch and advise clients. Read industry journals, news articles, social platforms, and don’t forget to pay attention to your competitors. You’ll have more confidence in yourself when you are armed with the knowledge to do your job well.
Surround yourself with positivity.
Do you have any “energy vampires” within your close circle? In five minutes flat, your positive energy can be sucked dry because of people’s negative outlooks on life. Put yourself in a situation to be influenced by confident and positive people. Friends and colleagues who are supportive and encouraging are the type of people you want to surround yourself with, both in the workplace and in life.
Don’t think about it.
Skip the mind games. If you're constantly focused on being more confident, you’re ultimately telling yourself that you’re not a confident person. This thought process is called the Law of Reverse Effect. The harder you try, the more likely you are to fail. Confidence is meant to be an unconscious action. By thinking about it, you’re bringing it into conscious action. Improve your confidence by skipping the negative self-talk and by simply believing in yourself.
Your personal website is a reflection of your personal brand. An updated website indicates a high level of professionalism and commitment to your craft. It will also build confidence in your clients that you take your job seriously and are firmly planted in the modern era of real estate.
Use these tips to get your site in top shape.
Find relevant keywords and use them.
Use keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner or BuzzSumo to pinpoint the keywords that will draw clients to your site. Generic keywords and phrases like “real estate” are too competitive. Instead, test out keywords that focus on a niche market or geographic region you serve. Once you find appropriate and successful keywords, use them frequently so they become a strong link to your site and personal brand.
Be clean and consistent.
Choose a clean layout and theme for your site. Keep colors, fonts and photos consistent and on brand. Don't get carried away with too many distracting visual details or features. Use more pictures and less text to keep your audience's attention. Simple and streamlined is considered sleek and modern. Platforms like Wordpress, Squarespace and Weebly make it easy for a non-technical person to design a professional-looking website.
Market yourself with a professional photo.
If you don't have a current head shot, have a professional photo taken ASAP. Put on your best business attire and have a photographer or skilled friend take your photo against a neutral background. Use the photo on your “Bio” or “About” page and on your social media profiles, as well as on your printed marketing materials. You want your face to be etched in the minds of clients and prospects, so smile big!
A great personal photo is always an important investment.
Don't be afraid to get personal.
Speaking of your “About” page, have some fun with it! While professionalism is a virtue in the business world, you don't have to avoid authenticity. Being personable with your content will help build trust with your clients. You want them to feel like you are their trusted Realtor, as well as their friend. If potential clients have to choose between two agents they don't know personally, they'll choose the one they feel most comfortable with.
Highlight what makes you unique.
Do you have a niche or specialty? Is there a service you offer that your competitors don't? Make sure this information is displayed loud and clear on your website and throughout social media. It's hard to become the face of residential real estate, but it's much easier to become the face of residential real estate specializing in first-time home buyers in a particular area of your town.
Anyone can say they are a great REALTOR®, but it's more effective if a customer says it for you. Ask satisfied clients to write a 2-3 sentence testimonial that you can feature on your site. The more personable and specific, the better.
Your clients and prospects communicate in a number of different ways. Make sure your social media feeds all connect to your website and vice versa. If you have a blog, keep it updated and enable comments and sharing. Build an email list and allow people to sign up easily via your website. Frequent communication shows that you are available and willing to chat in whatever way is most convenient for each of your clients.