Time to ditch expensive real estate websites

Have you signed up for real estate marketing websites to gain more listings, but feel like you're just paying the fees and never seeing results? You're not alone.

There are many problems with the various real estate websites out there that claim they can ramp up your sales if only you'll buy in. They promise your name will appear next to listings, but you have to pay extra to be the only name listed. The details of each membership option are often hazy and confusing, so you end up paying for services you're not even sure you want or need. You are forced to follow a formula that every other agent on the website is also paying to follow, so you aren't actually getting ahead of the marketing game. You're simply one name among your competitors.

The strategy isn't personalized or ideal, and the client feedback is even worse. With no control over the message put out by the real estate websites that you pay to market your name, you have no control over the message attached to your personal brand. Many of these websites provide false or unreliable information and have received poor user ratings. Do you really want to advertise on a website that receives complaints for giving false estimates? Of course not! You are a professional agent who offers clients personalized information that applies to their specific needs. You aren't simply one among many and you're certainly not unreliable.

You need personalized products and services that empower you to take control over your own marketing strategy with comfort and ease. You want to efficiently make connections and grow your client list. You don't want a marketing package plan that everyone else is using. You have specific marketing needs and you don't want to pay extra for fluff that won't get results. That's why The Personal Marketing Company is the right choice.

We can help you choose from among our variety of marketing products that will expand your client list. We aren't going to force you into a marketing strategy that doesn't make sense for you. We help market you in a way that your clients will respond to, and we enable you to provide clients with meaningful material they'll look forward to receiving. You have the personality and sales ability. We have the tools to help you market your professional expertise.

Check out what we offer at tpmco.com or talk to one of our marketing experts at 800.458.8245. We look forward to connecting and helping you reach your sales goals.

What NOT to do when you meet a new client

You've made a new connection and you've set a meeting time. You are on track to land new clients and start their home buying or selling journey. Here's what NOT to do if you want to build a positive and lasting relationship.

Don't be inauthentic. Clients can tell when you are putting on a show. Take off the salesperson persona and focus on the person or people in front of you, rather than focusing on completing a transaction.

Don't dominate the conversation. Give a two to three minute explanation of who you are and how you help your clients, and then let them explain their needs in detail. Ask questions and allow the relationship to grow naturally, without showing any canned PowerPoint presentations.

Don't forget to do your research. If you have any information about your potential clients, dig a bit deeper. You may know that they are hoping to buy a larger home because their family size is increasing, so talk about neighborhoods in strong school districts. If your new clients were referred by their friends who bought or sold a house with you, discuss how their housing needs may or may not be similar. Come to the meeting mentally prepared to help the clients in any way you can, and they will see you as a helpful and authentic person they can refer to someone else to in the future.

Don't dive too deep. The first meeting shouldn't come with an overwhelming amount of information. Buying and selling a home is a complex process that can intimidate many people. Make it easier for your potential clients by breaking down the process into smaller steps that are easy to follow. You never want clients to leave a meeting feeling confused or stressed out.

Meet in comfort. Ask your clients to meet you at a new coffee spot or doughnut shop. As long as you choose a meeting place where you can comfortably sit and talk, you can venture out to new spaces. If you know the area where your clients would like to live, suggest a meeting place in that community.

How to use targeted marketing postcards

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Still not convinced that postcards work?
  • 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!

3 Steps to marketing success the Personal Marketing way

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.

Social media buzz: live video

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.