Powerful Pre Listing Appointment Questionnaire

We are now coming into the time of year where we all really want to build our listing inventory up for when our spring markets begin to hit. One of the simplest and most powerful strategies you can use to eliminate the competition and to get the inside track on a listing appointment is to use a Pre Listing Appointment Questionnaire. This simple strategy is a fantastic way to impress the prospective seller by connecting with them in advance of our appointment. By confirming the appointment date and time it shows them we were really on the ball with our service as an agent, sets us apart from competitors and helps us create a superior experience for them even before we take their listing.

Now the other secret you could use is, have your  assistant, make these pre listing appointment calls and then ask the sellers the question “While we have you on the phone would you mind just answering a few questions that would help us serve you better and enhance our marketing plan for your home?” They would almost every time freely share four pages of information about their property, finances, situation, timing, motivation and chances are they would not be as comfortable if it were you asking the same questions. Imagine if you had pages of intel on the seller, their property, their finances before you even arrived to the listing appointment? What would that mean to you? Here are some of my favorite questions that really help my business and my listing effectiveness.

1.) How did you hear about me? Love this question for two golden reasons. A) The ability to track and measure your business. What is working? B) If it’s because of a referral then you get to reward that behavior and the referrer.

2.) Why do you want to sell? If we answer all your questions to your satisfaction will you list your property when we meet with you? These are the most important questions in determining their motivation. What are they running from or running to? No pain or no gain then no listing for Wade and no testing the market.

3.) Who else are you interviewing? When are you meeting with them? This is so good to be able to jump on to the MLS data and research the numbers and performance of the agents you are competing with and also prepare your value proposition of the brokerage vs. their brokerage in the listing appointment. Also decide if you’re going first or taking the chance to go last?

4.) Who will be present at the appointment? Always want to remind them of the importance for meeting with all parties on title but also all other decision makers.

5.) How much is owing on the property? Always helpful to know where they sit financially.

6.) What price do you want to ask for your property? Amazes me how many will freely share with my assistant who is not the agent what they want for their home.

7.) What criteria will you use in hiring an agent? Nothing better than knowing what they expect, want and need in an agent.

8.) May we ask you to wait to make a decision before you meet with us? Always protect yourself from other exceptional agents taking the listing before you do.

9.) Tell me the highlights about your property? Let them tell you their property story and share with you about the pride in their home.

10.) We will be delivering or have already delivered our informed home seller pre appointment package and can we ask you to review this prior to our meeting? This is a powerful way to win the listing before even seeing them but also helps make the listing appointment time that much shorter if they have reviewed it all.

So there you have a sampling of a pre  listing appointment questionnaire and a better understanding of its effectiveness. I hope this strategy is something you will use to really take your listings in 2018 to another level and crush it!

Download your Pre Listing Appointment Questionnaire here.

 

32 No Cost Or Low Cost Marketing Ideas For 2018

Often we hear realtors tell us how expensive it is to do effective marketing as a real estate agent and how they don’t have the budget for these costs. Although there are some very pricey marketing tactics in play right now, you can be assured there are countless highly effective tactics that are “zero” cost or low cost.

2018 Low and No Cost Marketing Ideas for Agents:

1. Pick up the phone and talk to five current or past clients a day.
2. Ask for the business just by adding to your email signature “The greatest compliment you can give me is a referral to your family, friends and colleagues.”
3. Record a new, upbeat and original message on your voicemail every day. Try a riddle, joke, tip, quote or short story.
4. Create a “do it yourself” info graphic of your local market statistics for real estate and post it on social media or email it to your clients
5. Check the local news or internet for a good news story and clip or print the story and send the person who the story is about a personal note saying “well done or congratulations” and include your business card.
6. Create a video of your best buying or selling tips and post them to YouTube, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter.
7. Create a video of a past client testimonial sharing their experience doing business with you and post it to your website or social media.
8. Create an instructional video on “How to” or “Step by Step” process.
9. Constantly wear your company name badge. Don’t be a secret agent. Even add a company logo to your clothing.
10. Join or start a networking group like Business Network International (BNI).
11. Write and post some of your best marketing, buying or selling ideas in Real Estate on your own blog like we have done with Agents Sales Talk!
12. Submit press releases each week to local media sources like new innovative real estate marketing, using drones, videos, interactive floor plans, virtual reality, etc.
13. Create joint ventures and partnerships with other businesses and services that fall in line with the real estate industry. Add them to your website!
14. Complete a detailed profile of yourself in Google, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
15. Write a short market snapshot or update each month and email it to your database.
16. Post classified ads on free online websites like Craigslist, Kijiji, Oodle.
17. Teach other business owners and service providers how to market with little or no money.
18. Write and send a hand written note to 5 people every day.
19. Door knock an area where you have or your company has a bona fide buyer, recent sold or recent new listing or invite them to your open house.
20. Post on social media and email every month your local market “best bets” for buying opportunities. All categories like first time buy, move up buy, foreclosure or rental.
21. Visit face to face an expired listing owner with a sold topper in hand and say “We have just been notified your home is no longer on the market and I am sure the last person you want to see at your door is another real estate agent. I just have 2 quick questions and will be on my way. First why do you think one of these “sold” signs did not get on your property and second why did you want to sell in the first place?”
22. Hold an open house on a listing any day that only takes a customer no more than 2 open house signs to get to from the main traffic.
23. Create a contest or a client referral rewards program.
24. Volunteer for an event or at a local charity. Join a service club. Attend a networking event and exchange business cards.
25. Host a buying, selling or investing real estate seminar. Co-present with other experts like lawyers, lenders, inspectors, etc.
26. Logo your vehicle if you are not a bad driver.
27. Video interview local business owners, service providers and professionals in your community.
28. Create an agent to agent referral business with agents from other cities sending you their buyer and seller referrals.
29. Connect with solicitors that represent family, estate or financial institution law for referral business.
30. Visit face to face a for sale by owner and offer to provide them tips and ideas on how to sell their home themselves in exchange for referral business in the future.
31. Create a referral network with trades people, contractors, renovators and handyman professionals.
32. 97% response rate texting someone and asking them “How’s biz?” and in exchange you can expect them to text back the same question to you about the market!

So there you have it an in depth list of ideas for agents with smaller or no marketing budgets in 2018. Feel free to add more ideas and suggestions to this year’s list in the comment section below!

 

The Oz Principle & Living Above The Line

I love listening to some of my agents responses in meetings or coaching sessions.  But every once in a while, I’ll see or hear a comment and I can’t help but shake my head. “But what if I’m a new agent?” Or “Great info but how do I use this if I live in ________?” Or “That’s not the way that we do it around here.” I wonder if these people are truly seeking solutions, or… Are they looking for excuses? “Well , I’m new, this doesn’t really apply to me.” Yes it does!
“Well , my market’s different. I’m not sure that would work here.” Yes it will! Use your ingenuity!

There is a great book called  The Oz Principle by Paul J Kelly that  talks about living above the line and living below the line. The Top 20% of real estate agents wake up every day and choose to live above the line. They take 100% responsibility for themselves, they value and love themselves, they choose and own their choices and seize the opportunities they are given. The other 80% of agents live below the line and deny anything they do wrong, they blame others, create and make problems even bigger than they are and respond dramatically to everything they come face to face with. I always ask myself and my kids when we are tested, are we living above the line? Or living below the line today?

You’re in the Big Leagues Now.

News flash #1: There are no “minor leagues” in real estate. You’re in the big leagues now. If you’re new, that just means you have to work much harder and maintain your focus that much stronger. You have a lot of legwork ahead of you — systems to put in place, your business plan to create, marketing plans to develop, sales skills to refine, training to attend, books to read, etc.

News flash #2: Your market isn’t that different from everyone else’s market. Even if your market has some unique characteristics, you can always adapt what you’ve learned or what others are doing to fit your market and/or clientele. But whatever you do, you cannot allow yourself to make excuses for underperforming. Don’t Regret Your Inactivity If you allow yourself to make excuses, you’re only setting yourself up for mediocrity. Instead, commit yourself to training, learning, doing. Five years from now, you’re going to look back on the next two years of your life and say one of two things: “Wow, I really kicked ass and gave my business the jump start it needed.” Or “Ughhh! I wish I’d done more to put myself in position to succeed in this business.” Doing Something Is Always Better Than Nothing. Agents who succeed are the types who put their thinking caps on and are willing to adapt. They hear about a successful strategy and adjust it to fit their market, their business model, their level of experience in the industry. Nobody ever said you have to copy a strategy in its entirety. Pick and choose what works best for you. The point is to DO SOMETHING. The next time you catch yourself coming up with a reason why an idea won’t work, flip the script and instead focus on how you can adapt it to make it work best for you.

Don’t make excuses. Find solutions. Live above the line!

The Art of Negotiation

It is amazing how little negotiation training most real estate agents have and most of the training they do have comes from battle scars and previous negotiations. When it comes to negotiation in all sales there are two schools of thought.

Win/Lose

Win/Win

Real estate is a zero-sum business. There are a fixed number of transactions every year in every market. Personal marketing and prospecting is a hunting expedition for those buyers and sellers. Every listing taken and every home sold reduces the balance available. That is why it is impossible mathematically for every agent in every market to become a high producer. It is simply a consequence of supply and demand. This should be a reality check and a warning to every agent. Become great at the skills essential for your success.

The Win/lose negotiation is, by its very nature, adversarial. There rarely are any long-term winners. If you want your business to be referral-based then beware… there will be none here.

The goal of win/win negotiation, on the other hand, is to reach an agreement that satisfies both parties. This includes the buyer/seller and the listing agent/buyer agent. In other words, everybody is happy and each side feels the other was fair. This is the holy grail of negotiation. Negotiation gets messy when trust becomes diminished.

A lack of trust does not necessarily infer dishonesty. More often it can come from a lack of preparation and a thorough understanding of the needs of the other parties. There is always a loss of authenticity when one appears incompetent or lucidly incoherent. So how can you improve your chances of achieving a win/win outcome? The answer is by knowing the type of person you are negotiating with. Knowing, or at least considering, his or her personality type can give you an honorable edge in negotiating. Let’s look at the four personality types we face in negotiating and understand their natural tendencies in negotiations.

1.) The Dominant or Driver

These are extroverted people who need to direct traffic, need constant challenges and love to win. They believe winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. These people are direct and oriented toward the bottom line. They typically are win/lose style negotiators, but won’t usually acknowledge it. The best way to negotiate with this type of person is to go to the bottom line and work backward. Offer alternative choices and let them make their own decisions. Never attack their position, give facts in a logical flow and give them the perception of winning.

2.) The Social Butterfly or Expressive

These people love to talk and interact. They are personable, want to be liked and make quick, impulsive decisions. They usually have a great sense of humor and are good team players. Third-party endorsements work best with this type of person. Quick tips for negotiation: Don’t bother them with the bottom line or facts and figures. Keep negotiations good-natured and light-hearted.

3.) The Compliant or Amiable

Keeping the peace and avoiding conflict is most important to these people. They are amiable, patient and relaxed. They usually are unemotional during negotiations, slow to decide and will look for a long-term relationship. The best negotiation approach here is to show genuine interest in them personally. Listen, be patient and take your time. Don’t do hard sells! COMPLIANTS need to know you will deliver on what you promise.

4.) The Analyst or Analytical

These are the perfectionists of the world. They are cautious, detailed, accurate and analytical with high standards. They want proof, facts, data and more data. Follow the rules with these people and avoid too much creativity. Be prepared with data and be direct with that data. To be successful with this type of person, it’s important for you to be organized and provide lots of detail. Go to the point and avoid small talk. They will tend to get stuck on a single point (usually price) and will want to win on that one issue only.

How can we spot each style? 

First, it is important you know what personality type you are. Then keep your eyes and ears open.

  • If you are dealing with an outgoing person with a neat freak aura then most likely he or she is a DOMINANT personality. Dominant personalities also tend to like cutting-edge technology and acquiring that technology.
  • Someone who is talkative with a relaxed, lived-in look and casual appearance will probably be a SOCIAL BUTTERFLY. They also like to be on the cutting edge of technology and like to buy things.
  • COMPLIANTS just want to do what’s right for everybody. They sometimes appear a little insecure. They are the clients who want to do the right thing and are generally slow to decide. But they are very loyal and will be a consistent referral resource.
  • ANALYSTS always will ask for more detail. They also will want to know how you arrived at your CMA for example. They are fact based.

 

WHAT ARE THE COMMON ELEMENTS TO NEGOTIATE SUCCESSFULLY WITH ALL FOUR TYPES?

The main point to remember during negotiations is it’s about the client, and their wants and needs. Do your prep work, recognize the types of people you’re dealing with, and have these tips in mind to keep negotiations positive and smooth (win/win!):

  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Don’t become emotionally involved
  • Be totally prepared with clear factual details
  • Treat people with friendship just as you would want to be treated

How to Win the Listing Every time!

Do you feel like you’re losing the listing more often than not? Do you find the sellers in a sellers’ market are interviewing more than one agent now to see what really is the highest price? Here’s what you need to know… whether or not you win the listing is based on ONE main factor… Your listing presentation. Mess up the presentation, and say good-bye to the listing. Rock your listing presentation, and say HELLO to a new listing! Some of you are saying right now… “a listing presentation”? Hey the 80’s called and they want their listing presentation back. Yes! A listing presentation. Every time you don’t do one you rob yourself of the greatest gift in real estate and that is the client after seeing what it is you do can now advocate and share with other people what it is you do and what makes you so different from the rest of them! How important is that?!

So today we are sharing some of our best tips to improve your listing presentation so you can finally WIN the LISTING. Beat the competition. Have them tell your story and what makes You different from the rest.

 Pre Listing Appointment

#1. Practice!! Spend some serious time on what you will say and how you say it. Be planned and prepared and not overwhelmed and ineffective. Don’t practice on the client!

#2. Send a short video letting them know how excited you are to work and meet with them.

#3. Deliver a pre listing appointment package to their home before you meet. (Your bio, team members, steps to selling, marketing, testimonials, your personal stats, how you find buyers, personal guarantee)

#4. Pre appointment listing questionnaire call. (what price are they thinking, who else are they interviewing, expectations, past experiences, confirm the appointment and time, recent improvements, current mortgage)

 Appointment

#1. Know your customer – research them before you meet them. Google them or check for them on Facebook. Connect with them quickly and get them to like and trust you more by knowing a bit about them when you meet for the first time.

#2. Know the market, neighborhood, culture, and community. Have a really good idea of all the things the neighborhood offers, drive by the home before the appointment and find out all you can about their market area.

#3. Make sure you are in the right mindset – visualize speaking with your customers before meeting them. Get prepared and get ready to bring passion, energy and enthusiasm to the meeting and presentation.

#4. Tell the story – “I’ve been on 62 appointments and 58 people chose to work with me.” Share what others have felt when first meeting you and what they found it was like working with you after the process. Share examples of how you’ve helped customers in similar situations.

#5. You only have 22 minutes (attention span of average adult) to answer the questions… Why you? Why your firm? Why now?

#6. Don’t tell me… Show and sell me. Visuals and presentations have a far greater impact than just words!

#7. Close 3 times! Mentor Floyd Wickman said ask for the order not once, not twice but three times and increase your odds of getting the business every time.

#8. Don’t sell the steak but sell the sizzle. Every time you present always explain the benefits to them and not just the features. We buy the sizzle and not the steak!

#9. Explain to them the benefits to them of your listing presentation before getting started. “Mr. and Mrs. Seller let me take a few minutes to show you how I work. There is a myth out there that all agents and all firms pretty much do the same thing and that is the furthest thing from the truth! When you see what it is i do, you then are able to hold me more accountable to the marketing of your home and be able to call me on anything you see that hasn’t been done or done to your satisfaction. How does that sound to you folks?”

#10. It’s Show time! You only get one chance. Make it your best presentation you can every time and don’t risk your fate and lose the business.

There you have some tips and effective strategies on how to win listings in today’s market place and how to compete on a higher level and win the listing every time. Take time to share in the comments one thing you do that really helps get the listing every time!

Why Video is so Important to Our Marketing

As you probably know, there is a big shift in video across social media for REALTORS. Agents typically fall into 3 categories when it comes to video…

  1. They avoid it completely
  2. They do it but not very well
  3. They are crushing it!

What category are you and your real estate business in?

Video has become the normal way in which many people consume information online. Most agents are missing a big opportunity by not using video. Even from a listing point of view, listings with videos get 400x more inquiries! But videos are more than just a way to showcase a listing. They can also show the community, lifestyle, and even the agents selling the property! Most agents first professional video, let’s be honest, is not their best but they are like a fine wine and just get better with age! We all learn something valuable in the process. Even though we took some great pictures of the property, it wasn’t enough. We all start with some basic video, nothing at a professional level and then move to working with a hired professional, and the professional video is what sells the listing!

Generating New Business

Video is what has helped many agents stand out in the marketplace. Instead of just saying what they do differently, they can show potential customers how they are different. Besides listings, agents use video for testimonials, open houses, and client appreciation events. For testimonials, shoot the video at closing or at your client appreciation event. At your client appreciation event have a raffle, but those clients who do a testimonial video get an extra raffle ticket! At these events the clients are dressed up, having fun, and even have a few glasses of wine. Then take them to a private area for filming, so they don’t feel any stress on camera.

Content is King

You have to make videos that resonate with your audience. “About me” videos are a good choice and help your potential customers get to know you and your team. Community videos are great too; you can start by interviewing local businesses. Good news, these businesses will share your video interviews on their social channels too! Also, if you are looking for video topics, think about what questions you are constantly being asked as an agent. For example, the market is very competitive and buyers want to know what they can do to get their offers accepted.

Maximizing Your Videos

Use Google Adwords to generate traffic to your videos. Videos are posted on your personal website, company’s website, and landing pages too. Videos are uploaded natively to Facebook to get more views. The videos also go to blogs and are emailed to agents and customers in their database. If there is a place to share the video, then share it there! Most of your main videos are maximum 3 minutes long but create some 15-30 second teaser videos specifically for social media.

You Tube

Make sure your videos are lined up for organic views on YouTube… This means filling out the tags and descriptions, as well as making sure your video is public.
Facebook Live – There is so much traffic on Facebook, and your live videos will get a great organic reach. Facebook Live can be used for events, open houses, or even interviews.

Getting Started

We recommend having a dedicated website you can share with people to see your videos. That also means getting a YouTube channel to host the videos.  We also recommend getting a simple kit that comes with a tripod, mic, and wide angle lens for an iPhone (usually less than $100). You don’t have to have a bunch of fancy equipment to make a video. Don’t over analyze it, and your videos don’t have to be perfect. Just create a video and share it with the world!

The Future of Video

Videos aren’t going away, and remember Google owns YouTube. Videos can be one of the tools customers use to find you online.
It will also give you a way to stand out once you start working with your leads to showcase all the work you’ve done. So what are you waiting for?  Get out there and share a video!

Why isn’t my Listing Selling?

We are past the end of our spring market and have entered the summer market.  Do you have a listing that just isn’t selling? Or even worse, sellers are dominating the conversation because of what is happening in the media? This week we’ve got solutions for both of those scenarios so you can sell your properties faster and get your customers what they want. So why isn’t the listing selling? Write this down….. If it isn’t compelling, it isn’t selling!

Action Steps to Sell your Real Estate Listings

#1 Face-to-Face Meetings

Start by making sure you are meeting with all the decision makers involved in a face-to-face meeting. When you meet face to face ask them again “Why do you want to sell?” Help remind them of their “why”, what they are avoiding (Pain) or what they are moving towards (Pleasure).

 #2 Understand Their Point of View

If you don’t start by understanding your customers’ point of view, you’ll instantly be out of rapport with their perspective. Think of the things they are reading like the  Globe & Mail, The National Post, Fortune Magazine, CNN Financial, and similar publications. All those media sources are saying there is no inventory! Most people only see the news story of millions of people wanting to buy homes and there are no homes for sale!

 #3 Break Down the Information

Let them know the national, provincial and city stats versus what is happening locally in the community. Get them out of the global mindset and have them focus on what is happening in their backyard. That starts by meeting them at their perspective and world view.

  • Know Your Market – What makes a listing compelling in your market? It isn’t just price because most clients just hear that and assume you want to lower the price because you are an agent… Educate your client with some of the following tips.
  • Opportunity – Is it an opportunity problem? In some neighborhoods, if a property was built in the 50’s or 60’s a builder is going to come in and scrape the whole thing and build something magnificent. Those properties are priced sometimes 3-5% above fair market value and still get 5-6 offers! This also goes for fixer uppers and residential lots too!
  • Exclusivity – You know those one of a kind properties! Kudos to Gary Gold and Mauricio Umansky for selling the Playboy Mansion. Other unique factors could be the designer, architect, or even the year the property was built.
  • Turn Key With No Competition – We all know turn-key properties are really compelling especially when there is no competition. What if there are 5 homes that are exactly the same on the inside and priced the same too? Something has to be compelling…
  • Want to try something different? Take your clients to see where the new homes are being built. Those companies are spending millions of dollars to win the minds and hearts of the sellers! That is the competition and they are creating compelling products for the market.
  • Price – Price trumps everything! Which brings us to the options for pricing your listings…3 Options For Pricing – The average agent shows the comps to the seller… Even though the seller has seen the median sales price and comps, they still want to see that bigger number! This is because they have this emotional attachment and hallucination about what the market really is… Remember if it is not compelling it isn’t selling! Show your customers these 3 pricing options…

Above Fair Market Value – Not Compelling. Talk about pricing above the fair market value, and how having a higher pricing strategy hasn’t worked so far… The data and the market have showed at their current price the home isn’t compelling.

Fair Market Value – Compelling Pricing at the fair market value is really just going off the comps. This will make the property more compelling, but there is an even better strategy…

Below Fair Market – Extremely Compelling What really makes property more compelling? When the price is extremely compelling, you create a bidding war and feeding frenzy around the property! Announce a price that is below fair market value to everyone!

  • The Challenge – Here’s a challenge…if you have a listing that isn’t selling execute on this plan! Repackage and re position with this strategy and let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Shocking Real Estate Facts that will change how you do Business

It’s so important to take the time to think and put ourselves in the shoes of our customers rather than thinking like a realtor and what we need and want all the time. This week we look and see the trends of our customers and how to model what they want and need from us. So let’s get started….

#1.) Follow up web leads and make contact with them in under five minutes (speed to lead). We know 50% of sales will go to the first person to make contact with them and the agent that makes at least 6 follow up contacts has a 90% higher chance of getting a response and chance of converting the online lead. (Source Insidesales.com )

#2.) The best time to make email contact with a customer is at 8:00 A.M. in the morning and 3:00 P.M. in the afternoon. (Source GetResponse)

#3.) The best time to make follow up phone calls with a customer is between 4:00 P.M. and 5 P.M. in the afternoon. Second best time is between 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. and the worst times are 11:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. (Source InsideSales.com)  

#4.) The following are the best days of the week to follow up with contacts. Thursdays are the best follow up and prospecting days. Wednesdays are the second best follow up and prospecting days and the worst day to follow up or prospect according to InsideSales are Tuesdays.

#5.) The owners of real estate and high probable home selling clients are using the social media site LinkedIn at least 6 hours a week. Are you? (Source Jill Konrath)

#6.) Back in 2007 it would take 3.68 cold call attempts until you found a client prospect and today it is taking at least 9 cold calling attempts to find a prospect and lead. (Source Ovation Sales Group)

#7.) The average real estate agent only makes 2 attempts and 45% only make one attempt to follow up a client lead and would increase their conversion rate by 9 times if they increased their follow up attempt to only 5 times. (Source Sirius Decisions)

#8.) Agents only have a 2% chance of converting a cold call to an appointment. Lesson is to stop making cold calls and make warm calls using new ways to reach the decision-makers. (Source Leap Job)

#9.) An average agent can make about 8 prospecting contacts per hour and prospects for 6.25 hours to set one buying or selling appointment. So remember the magic number for prospecting is 50 prospects to set one appointment. Are you making enough contact when you prospect? ( Source Ovation Sales Group)

#10.) The highest response rate of communication with consumers is a text and 97% chance of getting a response. Lesson is to make sure you have the customers cell phone number!! (Source GetResponse)

#11.) Nurtured leads have a 47% chance of making a large buying decision versus a non-nurtured lead. (Source Annuitus Group)

#12.) When communicating or making a sales presentation, Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Use visuals and don’t tell but show and sell! (Source Neo Mamallian Studios)

#13.) The most memorable part of all sales presentations for the customer is the last five minutes. So always end all your sales presentations with a bang!

#14.) 91% of our current and past customers say they would give a referral to an agent but only 11% of agents ever ask for a referral. (Source Dale Carnegie)

#15.) Each year agents lose 14% of their customers a year. The biggest reason is for not keeping in touch. Lesson is to keep in touch and always be prospecting. ( Source Businessbrief.com)

So there you have it. Some crazy statistics and trends all agents need to be aware of and take action and implement new strategies to buck the trend! We dare you to take a few of these tips and implement and execute them and let me know how they impact your business in 2017?!

 

Top Signs Your Real Estate Marketing is Not Working

Top Signs Your Real Estate Marketing is Not Working


Could your marketing be outdated, ineffective, or even harmful for you and your business? There are several signs your real estate marketing strategy might need an update in 2017. This week we look at the top signs and what to do!

 1. Your Inbound Marketing is Being Ignored.

It’s not just about the advertisements in magazines or online. Inbound marketing focuses on providing customers with valuable content, instead of pushing out a specific message. Inbound marketing has been proven to be far more effective than traditional advertising. Pulling the customer and not pushing on them is the key to marketing success today. We pull by providing killer content that they find valuable, helpful and assists with their biggest challenges in today’s marketplace. Take a minute and think what their challenges are? What would help them with those challenges? Are you providing valuable content the consumer considers valuable or is it just the same old content we think they would find valuable?  You need to find what they are praying for before answering their prayers!

2.  You’re Using Social Media “Just Because”…

If you’re using social media just because you think you are supposed to, you likely aren’t seeing much benefit. Create a strategy beyond gathering followers. Use it to promote your content, build a community, and address any customer concerns or questions. That said, don’t use social media to just push your agenda or promote your listings or blog posts; use it to engage. Just like your inbound marketing strategies your social media marketing strategies need to provide value, solutions to pull and engage the consumers. No more ego selfless promotions posts but add value, answer questions and engage them in your social media marketing by having a plan. Create a strategy and be intentional and not just because you think you “have to” marketing strategy.

3.  You Fail to Update or Don’t have a Blog

You don’t need to contribute a new blog post every day but you should be blogging about one time a week. If you’re posting less than a month, you need to revisit why you even have a blog because you’re not likely generating much traffic from it to make it worth it. This is a long game marketing approach but an approach that will pay large dividends in the future.   The world is looking for experts and someone to advise them and a blog positions you as the expert in your community so go and take that title of expert in your community today!

4.  You Have Not Looked at Your Analytics

Everything in your marketing should be data-driven. Don’t repeat the same mistakes over again by not looking at your analytics. Carefully evaluate what your data is telling you about your audience and about their likes and dislikes. Check your website, email, and social media analytics at least once a week. You never know what the customer will value and what they will not. You need to track and measure all your marketing and your content and know what is working and what is not working. Once you know what is working then give them more of that!

5.  You Don’t Segment Your Audience

If you’re trying to target everyone, you are likely really targeting no one. You can’t be all things to all people and gain traction or own a piece of the market. Everyone gravitates to the expert or someone who specializes rather than the agent that seems to do everything and do it equally to everyone else. Figure out who your ideal client is. Focus on attracting those consumers with your marketing. “Otherwise, you’ll be wasting a lot of time and money on people who will never buy from you anyway. So many agents are residential, commercial, farm and acreage specialists!!

6.  You Do Not Rank or Exist in the Search Engines

If your business name or your name isn’t in the first few spots of the Google search rankings, you have a problem. Just try googling your name or top realtor in _________ and see what comes up? If your competitors all outrank you, you have a big problem. Focus more on mastering to get higher in the search rankings but just start by increasing your presence first. This likely will mean more content building to increase your search engine presence and ranking. Start blogging, posting video and sharing more killer valuable content to your community.

7.  You Create Lots of Content But Little Traction

Seventy-five percent of content gets zero links, and 50 percent gets two or fewer Facebook interactions, according to the site Moz. Get others to read your content by using a three-step plan: Research topics and issues your audience cares most about to use as the basis of your content; write high-quality and 1,200-plus word articles and videos about those issues; and have a plan to promote your content via email and social media. Find what they want and what their issues, needs and wants are in the marketplace and give it to them!!

So there you have it the top ways to determine if your marketing needs a makeover in 2017 and whether it is working or not. Just take one day a week to provide the killer content to the consumers that provide solutions to their issues in the marketplace and just watch what happens over the remainder of 2017!

 

How to Compete in a Sellers Market

Today’s Market has shifted and the majority of the country is experiencing what we call a Sellers Market, where the inventory levels are low and the buyer demands are higher than normal.

So many real estate agents are now struggling with the challenge of how to compete in this “Seller’s Market” so this week we look at some of the ways in which we are able to adapt to the current market trend.

Let’s start with what the biggest challenge we are facing when market conditions shift and that is the challenge of managing the buyer’s expectations and doing this right up front in your buyer interview process. It is critical we advise with our buyer what is happening to the inventory levels and what is happening with the buyer’s market demands.

What is the #1 thing a buyer hires us to ensure for them?

Making sure they don’t pay too much or more than they should for the home they are buying.

So why do we allow so many of our buyer’s to just write any old offer at any old price?

On the other hand if we upset the listing agent and the seller where they now don’t care how much you and your buyer will pay, they just don’t want you to have the home now or you’re paying way more than you should for offending them all.

Solution… “Show and sell me” and “don’t just tell me”, the buyer has been in the driver seat in some of our markets for many years so you just telling them what is happening with supply and demand is not enough.

Take the time to show the numbers and statistics and even better the graphs and visuals for the buyer to see and feel what is happening with the inventory levels, average days on market, absorption rates, average listing to sale price percentages, full price and above asking price sales and in some cases multiple offer scenarios.

Pull off some listings that are excellent examples to demonstrate the facts showing they are in a seller’s market and what does that mean for them. They need to understand the days of low balling offers and taking your time to make a decision have come and gone and they need to be strategic and quicker than they were before.

Without being pushy, explain what we call “Murphy’s Law” that “Mr. and Mrs. Buyer this home you see today and go home to think about tonight may be the same home that another buyer saw yesterday and will buy today.”

Another great strategy in this type of a market is to have all the financing in place before you even begin looking, never mind begin writing offers on homes.   Make it a rule that a buyer would take the time to meet with my preferred lender in advance to ensure we had no surprises and no disappointments; we all know the highest cause for collapsed sales is always because of financing.

I encourage us all to take the time to sit with the buyer and determine whether we are buying a “home” or a “deal”?

“You know what Mr. and Mrs. Buyer? There is a difference in what we are paying and what we are getting when buying a “home” or buying a ”deal”. It is our job to determine if they want a home or a deal, Right?!

In some of our market areas and some of the price ranges we may be experiencing extreme competition for the better homes and the possibility of multiple offers arise and taking the time to educate the buyer on some of the strategies to winning with these offers.

Present all offers in person face to face with the seller and the listing agent when in multiple offers whenever possible.

Ensure the buyer attends the offer presentation and show the seller they are there, serious and ready to act.

Make the deposit on the offer as large and enticing to the seller as possible.

Be flexible with your dates, offer to have seller rent back or take time to find another suitable property.

Be sure to leave your acceptance time on your offers fairly quick as to not allow the seller to play the competing bids against each other or to allow more time for other offers to come into play.

If possible do all your due diligence including the property inspection prior to writing and presenting the offer.

You may even offer to pay the sellers closing costs or (if applicable) have the buyer offer to throw in the use of their recreation property or time share property to the seller to add incentive to your offer as well.

This may sound corny but stats say your odds increase 9% by writing a letter to the seller for your agent or their agent to present to them about how owning their house would affect your buyers lives, maybe even attach a photo of your buyers and work at tugging on the seller’s heart strings.

Gone are the days where we would take the time without breaching our fiduciary duty and ask the fellow listing agent a few excellent questions to prepare a cleaner and better offer for our buyer.

Questions like… what comparable did they use to determine their asking price and why not exchange the listing agents comps and your comps for your buyer in advance of writing and presenting an offer?

How many showings?

How many offers?

Advise you of another offer?

Preferred dates?

Inclusions and exclusions?

Have they found another home?

What is more important to the seller? Terms? Price? Both?

Keep the offer and conditions as clean as possible.

The final and most important tip in a Seller’s Market is not making offers with a buyer who has a property to sell first. Get the buyer’s home under contract before you even attempt to compete in a market where there is competing buyers and low inventory levels.

I trust some of these strategies will allow you to compete at a higher level in seller markets.