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Spock says “Stretch Your Marketing Investment.” (or something like that)

By Rebecca Chandler

"Live long and prosper."

“Live long and prosper.”

Ok, I’m a Star Trek geek.  A quote from the emotionally void, but logical Spock recently came to mind, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” Why?  I was having a conversation with a colleague who noted that agents in his area would spend freely on marketing tools for a single listing, but would skimp on marketing themselves, all their listings, and their entire business.

I’m not suggesting that agents should not spend to market their listings. After all, this is, and should be, a basic seller expectation when they sign a listing agreement with a real estate professional. What I am saying is, are your marketing efforts supporting your entire business – and not just a single listing?

Food for thought —

The little things add up. At $200 here and $49 there, what are you really spending on marketing tools? And, are those really paying off? I’ve worked with agents in the past who never really added up all the little things they did. It’s the $25 here and the $99 there of which they lose track, and those small amounts add up to a larger amount – with little to no return on what turns out to be a larger investment than they realized. It’s worth taking a minute and counting up all the little things. A lot of a little can . . . well, add up to a lot.

Make ALL your marketing efforts work for ALL of your business. Of course, it’s wise to invest in marketing tools for a single listing, and it’s also wise to make sure those investments serve the rest of your business well. For example, professional photography pleases your seller, shows the listing in the best light, helps to drive traffic to the home and increases the likelihood of a higher sales price. But, good photography also shows that you are a professional with a commitment to your clients. Everywhere those photos appear are a reflection on you. What is your impression of an agent who uses good photography versus one who uses really bad photography? As a seller, which would you prefer? As a buyer, which home would you like to see?

The same holds true for your brochures, mailings, website, email campaigns, etc. Consistent and professional design showcases you, your brand and all your listings. Unprofessional or inconsistent marketing actually works against you – by indicating to potential clients that you are as well.

How much is your time worth? I belong to a couple of Facebook group of agents who discuss how to invest their money in their businesses. Every day, there is a new service or tool available. Some seem to be valuable and some . . . not so much. However, the quantity of options available makes me wonder how much time an agent should spend? Many of the options may be great, but how much time and effort does an individual agent have to invest in integrating all of these tools into a consistent and professional marketing campaign for their listings – and their business as a whole? Wouldn’t your time be better spent following up on leads and working with real clients and prospects versus managing a complex vendor network? Is all this really necessary?

Admittedly, I may be biased because I work for a company that provides multiple tools from a single source for a single price – serviced by local professionals, who do nothing but put together effective and professional marketing campaigns for real estate agents and brokers, but the point remains the same. Wouldn’t you rather write fewer checks for a multi-media campaign that provides most of what you need to market your listings AND your business overall?

Think it over. If you haven’t looked into The Real Estate Book multi-media packages lately, you should call up your local rep for a tour. What many think of as just that little magazine around town with the real estate ads in them – is not just a page of print advertising any more. Packages now include interactive features such as text lead generation and GPS enabled yard signs. Personal desktop, mobile, and tablet websites with IDX feeds available and personal vanity text codes for a mobile business card come are part of the bundle. And, the check is much smaller than you might expect and you get your own professional real estate marketing consultant.

I believe Mr. Spock would find this approach most logical.

“Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a real estate marketing professional!”

“Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a real estate marketing professional!”

 

Watch this video to learn more about The Real Estate Book marketing packages.

Visit this site to find your local Real Estate Book representative.

Read more here –

Mobile marketing

Personal branding

Tracking your marketing investments

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3 Steps for WINNING Local Traffic to YOUR Website

By Rebecca Chandler

This is the second in a series of conversations around practical tips to building your personal brand locally.

happy trophyWinning a Google war with a listing aggregate site with 20 million or so unique users is probably a long shot, but you CAN win more local buyer and seller traffic to your website by following these 3 steps.

Step 1 – Start with a good website. What should that include?

  • An IDX feed that puts the entire MLS on your site. That way, home shoppers won’t need to shop other websites once they’ve gotten used to yours. All the data is there.
  • Make sure your website displays well on a tablet and a phone. More and more consumers are using their tablets and phones to shop for homes – especially on the weekends when they are out looking. If the visitor has to “pinch and stretch” the screen or can’t navigate the tiny buttons, even if they find your site, they will leave your site – forever.

Step 2 – Go to where your prospects are and connect with them, physically. No, I don’t mean a group hug. (Where was your mind?) Instead, make sure they bump into your web address, not just virtually, but on the real streets of your real town. Here’s how.

  • Look for the places your ideal prospect lives, eats, works, shops and plays. Look for opportunities to advertise to reach them in those places. Use local advertising, local real estate magazines, direct mail, open house flyers, yard signs. Take out an ad in the high school football program. Sponsor an event and get your name and web address in the program. Bus stops. Billboards. You get the picture. Go where they are. Physically.

Step 3 – Be bold. Use text codes. Big brands like AMC, Costco, Kohl’s, Office Depot, Sonic and others are now using text codes to drive traffic and reminders to their clients. They place specific codes around the stores and in their ad campaigns to drive traffic to their mobile sites and apps – and ultimately sales. How do you do it?

  • Use a service like LocalSmartMobile offered by The Real Estate Book® to assign a specific code to every listing. Put that code on all advertising for that listing with a strong call to action. “To see inside this home, text T312634 to 85377.” When the consumer does, they will receive a text with a link to that property – on YOUR website (and you get a text with their phone number so you can follow up right away).
  • Use GPS enabled yard signs with text codes. LocalSmartMobile includes a yard sign with the call to action – “Text HOMES to 85377.” When the consumer does, they get a link to that listing on YOUR website, and you get a text with their phone number – so you can follow up while they are standing in front of the home.
  • Use a vanity code (Try texting SUPER to 85377) to drive traffic to YOUR mobile business card and website. Consumers can save your contact information and then go to your website to search for homes.

Taking these 3 steps will help you win more local traffic – on the real streets of your real town.

Want to learn more? Click here to watch a 2 minute video or contact your local Real Estate Book representative.

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5 Questions Every Real Estate Agent Should Ask a New Client.

agent_houseby Courtney Soinski

There are many articles out there suggesting questions that buyers should ask their real estate agent, but now it’s your turn!

Whether you’re an experienced REALTOR® or not, it’s important to always be crystal clear on a new client’s background information and preferences.  Know where you stand before jumping into a relationship with a lead.

Here are 5 questions you should ask a new client:

  1. Why are you buying and why is now the right time to move?  

    Learning WHY they are buying a new home at this specific time is very helpful in tailoring your real estate services to fit their needs.  It will also help you determine how many hours you can expect to work.  For instance, some may be looking for a REALTOR® way before they sell their current home, while others may wait until the last minute.  Everyone’s timing is different.

  2. How many houses have you already seen and what are your 3 favorite neighborhoods?   

    You’ll gain a better understanding of their recent real estate experience and at the same time, you’ll find out if they have already been working with another agent.  Also, ask them to list their 3 favorite neighborhoods – this is an easy way to begin discussing the importance they place on schools, demographics, and where they want to live.

  3. If we found your perfect home tomorrow, what would you do?  

    Ask this question so you can evaluate their readiness to actually move and better grasp their preferred timeline.  If you’re speaking with a first-time home buyer, use this moment to go over the closing process and any other details they need to know about buying a new home.

  4. Are you working with a lender?  

    Now you’ll can make an easy transition into a financial conversation.  This is a great opportunity to learn whether or not they are pre-approved.  If they have not been pre-approved, suggest a lender of your choosing.

  5. What would be a deal breaker?  

    Find out what they DON’T want.  Specifically, what features, or lack of, would immediately rule out a home?  This will save you tons of time and energy when finding the best home for your new client.  Everyone has different preferences when it comes to their next home, and understanding what to omit speeds up the buying process.

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