Value Comes Before Price

When selling your property you need the most money you can get for it. Here are some great ideas for making sure you are on top of the REALTOR® priority list. Put together a budget for how much you would like to spend before leaving. Is it going to be a couple grand? Five hundred bucks? No matter what it is, you have to be realistic and goal oriented. What is going to be the selling point of the property? Put the most of that budget toward the goal and thin things out on the other items. Here’s a list of some lesser expensive ways to put your home first.

  1. Call a pro. In order to be sure on what people are looking for at the particular time you are selling, it is a great idea to contact a lisenced REALTOR® who not only knows the market and how it is currently trending, but how it will be changing in the coming months. It won’t do you any good to take a few months spending your budget on the back yard in the middle of the autumn season if it’ll just be covered in snow when you’re selling. Find out what people are buying and shape your property to that market.
  2. Inspect. There are no inspections that are required by law before you can sell a property but this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be done. Hiring a professional general home inspector to help you with an assessment on the beneficial and trouble spots both. If you have great windows and doors throughout your home and this is rare for the current market, you want to know so you can emphasize this! If the furnace is old but still in great shape, you may want to spend your money on other areas as old doesn’t mean bad.
  3. Paint. The first place most people begin to freshen up a property is with a nice paint job. If you aren’t seasoned at painting- CALL A PRO. It’s not uncommon to spend a couple hundred dollars per room getting a color change to something more neutral. If you already have neutral colored walls, the price can go down by just painting the same color a single coat rather than two coats to change the color. Cleaning the trim is always a great idea. If you clean the doors and trim it’s likely you will see that they only need touched up with paint rather than completely repainted. This can save you several hundreds of dollars. In the end, the home can completely transform in appearance, thus value.
  4. Touch it up. Though there are some things in housing markets that fluctuate in and out of popularity and favor, some things stay the same. Everyone seems to want a nice kitchen with lots of cabinet space. Then off to the bathrooms- if the bathrooms look modern, many other things won’t be questioned. Next is closet space. Is there enough room for expansion or is what they get all there is to be had? Finally, yard maintenance. Are there bare spots in the yard from the family dog repeatedly using the same spot to relieve themself? Have the kids decided to dig for gold at the end of your patio? These are places to focus on. Don’t assume that just because you’ve grown used to seeing things like this, it means a prospective buyer will- because they won’t. If you don’t show you’ve put things back together on the outside, they can only assume you haven’t done proper maintenance on the inside.
  5. Keep it bright and light. When repainting, be sure to choose light colors that reflect light. This gives appearance of a larger space rather than a cave-like atmosphere. Clean the walls and floors and get rid of any items that aren’t completely necessary. The less there is to clutter the scene, the more open the space appears to be and the more square footage shows rather than is covered up thus not usable. Using plants to give a feeling of outdoor freshness is great because it provides a feeling of outdoor spaciousness.
  6. Keep it together. Starting with the curb appeal we have already touched on bare spots in the laws. What about trimming the trees? Have you really looked at the bushes lately? Is a good window cleaning in order. Making a good checklist of items that you would like to get a handle on is always the place to begin. It’s just so easy to get sidetracked by a beautiful day or spend all of your time on one project and overlook another. The checklist will help keep things in line. If a bush or two have died- dit it up! Just remember to not leave a dirt pile in its place. Decorative rock or even mulch is an affordable way to enhance any part of a landscaped yard.
  7. Seasonal maintenance is different than weekly maintenance. Picking up doggie poop and blowing off the leaves from your air conditioner unit are completely separate priority items. Check out our nice list of winter maintenance duties you may want to see in our Winter Maintenance Time article. Be sure to think in both short and long term when completing maintenance. Wind up the hoses, clean out the fire pit, pick up the branches, what ever it takes to make the yard look like a pleasing place to spend time.

Do what you can to step outside of your daily life to see what is actually around you rather than what you’ve built your home around you to become. Everyone will see the property differently from you, to your friends and family, to professional contractors, to a prospective homebuyer. Take the help when it comes, stay positive on the experience and remember that everyone gets stressed doing this phase of property sales. It’s normal and it will all be a memory soon if it’s done right. Make the best of it!

2020 Marketing Trends Coming for the Housing Market

With the new decade here, it’s time again to bring you up to speed on the upcoming marketing trends of 2020 and beyond. Here at PAAR Marketing Center we are keeping a close eye on marketing trends and diligently watching analytics to best predict how marketing trends of tomorrow will shape how we structure our next ads.  

Acting on marketing trends will allow you to … 

  • Keep up with the way your consumers shop and research your properties and listings (and those of your competitors’)
  • Stay up to date with changes in market behavior and priorities
  • Keep you ahead of the curve in terms of knowing who your target audience is and what they look for in listings
  • Stay relevant in your targeted areas and among your competitors (now and in the long run)

We are leading our teams in the direction of content marketing for 2020. The cost of content marketing such as facebook posts and shares, blog article posting and interactive analog media can be at least to 62% less than outbound marketing. This direct action generates three times as many leads as well. Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than those without blogs and rakes in conversion rates six times higher than other methods. 

615 million devices now use social media ad blockers. This means when you purchase an ad with a social media platform, people who may want to see your product are opting out of seeing your ad due to the overwhelming sea of spam.

The most effective means of directly communicating with your buyers is by being in the place they are looking. Where are they looking? Obviously, people are looking in the convenience of the palm of their own hands at unprecedented levels. But how is your listing going to be seen in the endless vastness of the internet? The answer is in the direct listing. 

Don’t give the opportunity for them to see the other listers through the use of placing a QR Code on your print ads. Our studies have shown that agents want to be exclusive and the best means of isolating your ads from the others and still being seen is through smaller print ads that are digitally linked to larger fully informative web pages. This eliminates the possibility of being ad blocked and utilizes the best ad space for the money. QR Codes make direct linking possible to any web page or website where real estate is endless. Learn more about QR Code marketing here.

The Regional Numbers Have Spoken.

Of the approximately 3,100 Regional MLS Members, eleven of the top 25 sellers are in the Peoria area. Of those eleven REALTORS®, SEVEN OF THEM USE THE 309MLS as a primary source for advertising. THE TOP .04% OF REGIONAL MLS MEMBERS KNOW THE VALUE OF 309MLS MAGAZINE. 

The value of a printed ad is changing and becoming more available to any location that has a persons physical presence. For the people who already utilize a printed advertisement, you may already know that you benefit from specific target advertising, consistency in public view, and perhaps most importantly- direct communication to those over 30yrs. In a sea of ignored digital banner ads, how do you become noticed? Marketing teams across the world work tirelessly to create, test, and implement solutions to this question. The answer is consistently coming back to targeted print ads.

When regional market numbers speak as loudly as they are, it can’t be ignored that those who are selling more locally, are utilizing printed ads. There’s no mystery, only mastery. Printed advertisements are making the largest assist in generating sales.  Printed advertisements are proven to be more trusted by consumers than a digital ad. In the Marketing Sherpa chart below, you’ll see that in a sales setting, printed advertisements outperform digital banner ads and social media ads combined.

MarketingSherpaChart

The reasons are quite simple and completely understandable. We, as people, are 70% more likely to recall the brand of a printed advertising than a digital one. Printed advertisements involve more emotion during the interaction of turning and feeling the pages. There is a great deal of disconnection with digital as only sight is involved. There is no argument that people simply engage differently with print than with digital. Only the people who are interested in the subject will be picking up the printed ad. We won’t be seeing off-subject advertising in printed ads. With digital ads, the algorithms allow for all of a persons interests to pop up, not just the on-subject ads. Printed advertising also lasts longer. Once it’s printed, it’s a tangible and physical part of the world around us. Digital ads are posted and removed by the platform once the money is spent.

The best part about utilizing a printed advertisement in your advertising campaign is that you can combine the subject-targets advertisement with a direct link to a specific web page which gives the best of both worlds. For more information on this process, please view our post on Staying Ahead of the Marketing Trends for 2020. This provides the emotional value and on-brand targeting of a smaller printed ad with a direct link of information to your product and brand.

 

Real Estate Market Recession in 2020?

Looking forward to 2020, the real estate market will be an interesting watch.

Experts have predicted a recession in 2020 and have also pushed one back as far as 2021. So far we have yet to see this affect the housing market in recent years and honestly, it isn’t likely to fluctuate much even in the event of a recession. If you get used to the fact that a recession is always coming, you’ll realize that it’s just another day in the grind and we will keep pushing forward to make the best of where we are (which is pretty good).

So how can realtors protect and prepare in the event that we are in fact heading toward a recession?

Keeping an eye out for sellers who are more motivated is a great way to keep things in line with fundamentals. Listing prices are always negotiable and everyone likes free stuff. Maybe the yard has nice acreage and the riding mower is something the buyer hasn’t purchased yet. Appliances are a pain to move in and out making them a great means of bartering. Drapery and other house fixtures can also be something easily added into a deal as many home sellers are going to plan on changing their motif anyway. Everyone wins!

Check other markets that are relevant and fairly close by. If you drive an hour and a half to a great find, what’s a little more time invested in a deal you shouldn’t pass? When doing this, keep in mind that real estate markets shift and are not the same from neighborhood to neighborhood, so you can be sure they are different from town to town.  Do the necessary research and bring a creative edge to the selling market that locals may have overlooked. Make time to see their home turf in a light that is enticing to others but perhaps taken for granted by those who see it every day. How is the local dining? What is the historic value of surrounding communities within driving distance? Are the sunsets especially viewable in the area? Anything can be a selling point if it’s viewed as valuable. Understanding the treasures of an area from every perspective is a creative way to drawing the perfect buyer.

Standing clear of listing pitfalls such as bidding wars and clients who aren’t quite ready to swallow the bite on their fork are both ways to make life simpler in trying times. Inexperienced homebuyers who are looking for a quick home flip may be under fire from places they never saw coming. That leaves you to do homework for them that should have been done before they even called you. Help them understand that they need to be prepared for what is in store by investing in a dilapidated home with expectations of making a good profit. Sometimes not selling a property to a client can create a stronger bond than selling them something they aren’t ready for. Never be afraid to steer the situation away from a deal that appears to be putting you or your client at a disadvantage.

The great news is that home sellers and homebuyers have little to worry about in the event of a recession.

Property values have fluctuated very little in three of the past four recessions. With new rules and regulations in place, there is much more shielding to prevent the housing market from being affected on a great scale like it was in 2008. (Seems we aren’t interested in losing everything twice) This still won’t entice clients if you don’t tell them that they’ll be just fine with quality assistance. Reassure yourself and them that you’ll stand by them with your reputation. Keep pushing forward and remember that your local area association of REALTORS is always here to help.

Are You Staying Ahead of Real Estate Marketing With This 2020 Trend?

REALTOR SIGN.jpg

Let’s take a look at what’s going here in the world of Real Estate marketing for 2020. There is a very serious tool in selling and marketing available and it’s catching on quick. The tool we’re talking about is the QR Code. We see them on concert tickets, in the airport, on contractor vehicles, bus stops, heck – these things are EVERYWHERE!

So what is a QR Code? It’s really not complicated at all. A QR Code is a symbol made up of  tiny squares that is scannable on any smartphone camera which can take you to a specific website of your choosing. That’s it. It’s faster than typing a URL into your browser, it’s more informative than any ad can hope to be with the given space, and it’s fully customizable for any use – INCLUDING REAL ESTATE!

These coded symbols are so easy to use and have the potential to contain every listing you have within your company, individually or collectively. They are not expensive to utilize and you can reuse the same one as many times as you like. QR Codes are helping Realtors and agents inform homebuyers, renters, commercial buyers and land purchasers about every detail of the property in a MINIMAL AMOUNT OF SPACE!

There really is no down side to utilizing this affordable and efficient means of advertising. It makes your printed ad snippet instantly become a fully digital and full color information center held in the palm of a potential buyers hand. In the digital age of marketing and selling, you have to stay ahead of the curve. Staying ahead means getting in early and knowing what is happening next in your professional field, and you can believe QR Codes are hitting our selling markets in 2020.

5 Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2019

2019

*from mediaspacesolutions.com

Autumn is upon us. I know this because Dunkin Donuts is selling their pumpkin donuts, which I happen to enjoy immensely, and which go very nicely with Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai Latte.

But I digress…

For many marketers, autumn brings with it not only pumpkin-flavored barista items, but also a sense of urgency to figure out which marketing tactics they should be focusing on in the coming new year.

With only a few more months before the new year starts, we thought we’d look toward the future and discuss some of the upcoming marketing trends we are seeing for 2019.

Internet Watching Catches Up with TV Watching

Couple on sofa with TV remote

According to a recent study, the internet will catch up to TV in terms of number of hours watched. The study predicts people will spend 2.6 hours a day online and 2.7 hours watching television in 2019. This will cause marketers to rethink where their ad dollars go, many deciding to invest online instead of television ads.

Chatbots Will Become the Norm

2018 saw an explosion of websites using chatbots to engage customers, and we can expect even more of it in 2019. In fact, we think the novelty of chatbots will fade in the coming year and the tech will be seen as quite common, even expected. Chatbots will most likely become the first touchpoint for many consumers in 2019. Want to order a pizza? You’ll probably start using a chatbot. Want to book a hotel room or choose a mobile plan? Chatbots will let you do it, and all without the headache of having to download a native app.

Banner Ads Take A Last Breath?

The digital age has transformed the way brands and consumers interact. Not long ago, you could sell what you had through blatant advertising, but 2019 will see even more online surfers using ad blockers. This will force advertisers to optimize their content marketing and influencer marketing strategies. Banner ads will no longer cut it, brands will have to find creative ways to offer consumers real value.

Smart Speakers Will Become Even More Widely Used

Smart Speakers like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomePod have become increasingly popular with consumers. In fact, 65% of consumers say they wouldn’t go back to life without their voice-controlled assistant.

So how will this effective marketing in the coming year?

We will likely see more online publishers embrace voice and publish audio content to these devices in an effort to land a spot on listener’s “Flash Briefing.” Also, we will likely see Amazon, Google and Apple monetize their content by allowing companies to buy and sell ad space.

Integrated Marketing Will Become Even More Relevant

We’ve been hearing for years that print is dead, and for years we have been having tremendous success using print for our clients. And, with so many marketers focusing on new digital trends, there will be even more space in print publications with which to make a splash.

We know of companies that went against the grain and chose to spend a little extra money to send print newsletters instead of email newsletters and they got tremendous results. Imagine in the age of HubSpot and MailChimp that someone could have such a successful campaign that hinges on an old-fashioned tactic.

Now we are not suggesting that you completely abandon digital marketing. On the contrary, we are saying that print is a powerful complement to your digital channels. With so many banner ads and email boxes filled with advertising, print marketing is a great way to break through the digital noise and be heard.

REAL ESTATE POSTCARDS WORK!

CaseStudies-Templates-750x317

*from geographicfarm.com

In today’s device-based world, it seems smart to focus on social media and search-based internet ads for marketing. While these arenas are certainly important, old school tricks like real estate postcards still have a place in the well-rounded agent’s arsenal, especially when dealing with real estate farming.

Real estate agent postcards are a proven and affordable marketing tool for real estate professionals. A carefully designed postcard will yield both immediate and long-term results. At minimum, you’ll see an increase in emails and website registrations, perhaps even the same day your postcards are delivered. In a best case scenario, you’ll receive higher call volume with requests for both buying and selling in your real estate farm.

Agent postcards and real estate farming
While postcards are effective within any real estate marketing tactic, agents focusing on a real estate farm will have the best ratio of effort to results. If you’re focusing on a certain geographic area, you won’t even need a mailing list for your postcards; you’ll simply need your defined real estate farm boundaries!

Remember that the best results from direct mail comes from consistency. One mailing will not boost your business enough to make the tactic stand out; however, after a couple mailings, your brand will have found its home in your leads’ minds, and you’ll soon find yourself the go-to agent of your farming area.

Getting the most out of direct mailing
Real estate postcards are especially useful when used in conjunction with a door-to-door strategy. You can either bring a postcard (or flier, magnet, pen, business card, etc.) to hand to people personally, or you can plan a mailing for immediately after you go door-to-door. Either way, people will remember personally meeting you, with the reinforcement of the physical material to make sure you stay on their minds for their future real estate needs.

Aside from using agent postcards to introduce yourself or solidify your name in people’s minds, you can also send literature when you receive a new listing, when you sell a house in the neighborhood, or when you’re hosting an open house. Keeping your postcards topical will make sure people don’t feel “spammed” but will also serve as a consistent reminder of who you are and how you can serve the neighborhood.

A major benefit of real estate postcards is return on investment. Because they are fairly simple and inexpensive to design and print, even mildly effective campaigns will yield a return of at least four times the cost, while most campaigns will yield eight to 12 times the investment.

Perfecting your postcards
One of the main keys to a successful postcard campaign is creating the perfect card design. Potential leads won’t take a second glance at your postcard if it’s messy, missing critical information, or just plain boring. Here are a few things to focus on:

  • Consistent branding with your logo, a consistent color scheme, fonts, and layout
  • Photos of recently sold homes, or homes for sale
  • Your photo on both sides of the card
  • A specific and concise message to your market
  • Calls to action

Perfecting these key elements in each of your postcards will create a clear picture of who you are and what you do. Combined with consistent mailings, a well-designed postcard will ensure that your name becomes synonymous with “real estate” in the minds of your real estate farm leads.

WIIFT
Before you stamp those cards, remember WIIFT: what’s in it for them? Put yourself in the shoes of your future clients, and give each campaign a unique spin based on what’s happening in the market or your real estate farm. Are your leads concerned or excited about the housing market? Is local employment affecting the neighborhood’s view or buying or selling? How can you offer them something different to meet their needs?

Sending out an individualized campaign focused on what’s in it for them will all but boost your return on investment. If nothing else, speaking to the hearts of your target audience will help them feel heard and understood, which are two excellent things to be remembered for.

Let the results speak for themselves
Even with years of proven success, new agents are often uncertain about using a “dinosaur marketing” tactic like direct mailing postcards. After all, isn’t this the digital age? It’s true that postcards will never take over the importance of an online presence, but the fact remains that direct mail yields results.

If you’ve never used a postcard campaign before, it’s time to give it a try and let the results speak for themselves. Be sure to take five minutes or so a day to record the responses you receive as a direct result of your mailing, whether it’s an email, website registration, or phone call to discuss buying or selling.

After a postcard campaign, you’ll certainly see some immediate results, but the big payoff comes slowly over time as you continue to see leads responding to campaigns that happened weeks or even months ago. It’s helpful to ask all new leads how they heard of you, and keep track of the marketing that’s working best for you. Chances are you’ll be surprised by how many leads reached out due to your real estate postcards.

How To Use Direct Mail For Real Estate Lead Generation

Copy-of-A-Marketing-Lesson-To-Be-Learned-1024x535

*From realestatemarketingdude.com

Do you want more leads for your real estate business?

Then you should diversify your marketing efforts and consider using direct mail.

Direct mail is not dead. Real estate direct mail marketing is alive and well if you know how to use it properly. We are going to discuss a few ways you can use direct mail marketing in your business!

I like to break down real estate direct mail marketing into two categories.  You can use direct mail to market your database (warm marketing) or you can use it to market for cold leads. Let’s first discuss using direct mail marketing for warm or referral/repeat business.

Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing For Referrals

Prior to the Internet real estate revolution, direct mail campaigns used to be a primary method to stay in touch with your database or sphere of influence.  Real estate agents used postcards, newsletters, and other personalized marketing pieces to stay on top of mind with their referral base. A consistent direct mail campaign to your sphere of influence keeps your name on top of mind.

Why Direct Mail Works Referrals For Realtors

The whole point of referral marketing is to stay on top of mind. How much mail are you getting on a daily basis? I’m guessing no where near as much as you would have gotten 10 years ago.  Real estate direct mail marketing works so well because your marketing pieces are no longer buried in a pile of mail as so many things have gone digital.  Do you check your mail frequently? So does everyone else, and that’s why this is so effective. Everyone receives and sorts their mail!

When fishing for referrals and repeat business you should not be trying to sell anything.  The whole point is to stay on top of mind so you are not forgotten about. Direct mail nurtures your relationships amongst your family, friends, and past clients so that your name is thought of when real estate comes to mind.

Direct mail has a 100% deliverability rate. It also has a very HIGH read rate, which is something you cannot do as effectively with email.

How many of your emails get opened?

The national average is 13%!

What effect is your email marketing if no one is seeing it?

Email marketing is great, but you have to use it the right way and that’s another blog post.

Yes, people throw direct mail in the trash, but they still have to sort it first.  This means they have to go through their direct mail to see what they want to read.  Whether they read or it or not, is not the point. They still take a mental note and acknowledge communication from you, which is the entire purpose.

“Hey Remember me, I’m still here for your referrals and repeat business ya know just in case you want to send me some”

Your Realtor...Remember me-

Because direct mail is tangible, it leaves a longer lasting impression than an email would. People will physically touch and see it. You cannot send someone a physical marketing piece through social media or email. This is why direct mail still works today.

When you are marketing for warm business or referrals, the goal is to stay on top of mind.  Real estate direct mail marketing accomplishes that! If you do not have a consistent direct mail marketing campaign being sent to your “database” or audience, you should look into getting one going.

Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing For Listings (Cold Leads)

Real estate direct mail marketing for listings is a great way to prospect potential sellers. Have you ever seen any of these real estate investor gurus out there claiming to have bought and sold hundreds of homes? They are professional marketers and know how to target sellers. Did you know that the majority of them use direct mail as their primary marketing method?

So why couldn’t you do the exact same thing?  If real estate investors are out there buying homes left and right, why couldn’t you market the same crowd?

Lets check out some direct mail marketing ideas shall we…

FSBO’s

For sale by owners are great potential leads.  You know they want to sell and the vast majority of them end up listing with an agent. Most sellers do not want your phone call solicitation, so direct mail is a great way to break the ice and try to build a relationship by offering a helping hand.

After about 1-2 months, FSBO’s begin to realize that selling a house encompasses a lot more than just popping a sign in the yard and posting the house on Zillow. The key is catching their interest by standing out from all the other Realtors you know who are calling them with their “interested buyer”.

Marketing Piece Example: Perhaps you could offer your entire marketing plan to help them sell their house for FREE. Send them a marketing checklist or a “DIY” Home Sale Guide in the mail.  Your follow up call can be to make sure they received it and you can break the ice by offering to provide a free service. This will increase your chances for getting the listing down the road.

You could offer them FREE staging and home selling advice.  Breaking the ice this way is much more likely to build a relationship than to go straight for the listing.

Cancelled and Expired Listings

You know these individuals want to sell desperately so show them what it takes.  They are getting bombarded by Realtor phone calls with the “old school” salesman script techniques.

How about mailing them a marketing piece that’s a little different?  

What about a mailing piece that makes them an offer no other Realtor is making them?

Marketing Piece Example: Most cancelled and expired sellers are already frustrated with Realtors.  This is why you need to have a REAL marketing plan that encompasses more than a sign in the yard and a listing.  Sellers want to hear about marketing specifics.

Don’t approach these leads as a Realtor, but as a marketer.  That’s all they want.

What they don’t want to hear is some cheesy script you just downloaded.  Solve their problem by supplying them with marketing content first.  Don’t focus so much on how many houses you sold as much as how your marketing plan helped someone else in their situation. When you tell stories, your marketing will be much more effective. You can follow up with a phone call after they received your mailing piece and start the relationship building process.

Absentee Owners

Absentee owners are people who own property that they do not live in.  These homes are either rented out or sitting vacant.  The cool thing about these leads is that you can target specific owners that have certain loan to value percentages on properties they own.  For example: lets say I want to target people who have over 40% equity in their properties.  You can find the data for these lists very easily. These potential sellers are more likely to sell than the ones that have a 15% or less equity position in their properties.

Marketing Piece Example: You can send them a marketing piece offering for a FREE CMA to see what their property is worth.  You could also send a direct mail piece on behalf of one of your investor buyers who is looking to buy property.  You want/need to set up a direct mail funnel for this campaign.  A direct mail funnel is a multi-step mailing.  

price postioning

The Key To Successful Direct Mail Marketing

This is not farming, but specifically targeted marketing that specifies a call to action you want your intended recipient to take. If real estate investors are having good luck doing the same thing, then why can’t you for your real estate business?  Any marketer will tell you that the success or failure of real estate direct mail marketing depends on two things:  the quality of your offer and the quality of your data.

Getting the phone to ring with these types of efforts is not the hard part.  It’s what you say when you get the calls that converts a prospect into a client, but again, that’s another blog post.

10 Cost-Effective and Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas & Strategies for Agents

*from fitsmallbusiness.com

Creating a marketing plan and need some new real estate marketing ideas? Here is a cost-effective and creative list of great marketing advice.

  • Market yourself in the Central Illinois Homes Guide! It’s a publication owned by its PAAR members. Offering agents affordable and high-quality advertising.
  • Host Local Neighborhood Tours: When it comes to great marketing, nothing beats the personal engagement that comes from hosting a fun event for your sphere of influence. Even better, why not host an event that shows off your own love and expert knowledge about your farm area?
  • Create a New Logo:  Believe it or not, your logo (or lack of a logo) is one of the most important elements of your personal brand. A great logo can help propel your brand forward while a bad logo… well, let’s just say it’s not going to help you attract more leads.  According to Patrick Sanders, creative director for real estate marketing powerhouse 1000watt, a great logo should:“… signal something exciting and new — a message to the greater world that your organization is always changing and getting better. The work should reflect that energy.” You can also check out Graphic Design services with the PAAR Marketing Center!
  • Learn Facebook Messenger Marketing: One of the most exciting new developments in real estate marketing for 2018 is leveraging Facebook Messenger. Using Facebook messenger and a free app like ManyChat, you can build real estate chatbots to engage your site visitors 24/7 and even send content to your Facebook audience as direct messages!
  • Create a Video Tour of Your Neighborhood: A video tour of the neighborhood gives prospective buyers a much better feel for what a neighborhood is like to live in. Unless you live in a major city or tourist area, chances are there are very few videos showing highlights of your neighborhood on YouTube. Stepping in to fill that void can mean a nice boost to your online presence and can help generate leads!
  • Start a Direct to Door Marketing Campaign with Door Hangers:Joshua Smith famously built his business from scratch to closing more than 100 homes per year partly by using door hangers. Direct mailers can get lost in a pile of bills but leads need to remove your door hanger to get inside their homes, guaranteeing that they see it. The PAAR Marketing Center offers a variety of door hangers for real estate agents. Check out our Door Hanger options here!
  • Use Instagram Stories: The key is to use Instagram Stories to give your audience a look at your day to day life as an agent as well as focusing on your listings. Believe it or not, many people are curious about what the heck real estate agents do all day!
  • Learn the Art of Real Estate Postcards:  Sending out real estate marketing postcards on a regular basis is a great way to inspire interest in your business and raise brand awareness. You can showcase just listed or sold properties or announce your next open house. The PAAR Marketing Center offers a variety of postcards specifically for real estate agents. Learn more about postcard options here!
  • School Yourself on the Best Ways To Utilize Social Media: Many agents make the mistake of carpet bombing social media with listings, market updates, and tips and never really engaging with their audience. Instead, you need to focus your efforts on discovering what content works best for each social media channel you use.For example, contests can work great on Facebook while behind-the-scenes videos might work better on Instagram stories.
  • Create a Client Testimonial Packet: When it comes to landing more deals than your competition, one of the aces up your sleeve can be effectively using testimonials to help earn the trust of potential clients. Nothing is more positive than a third-party account of your performance from someone who has done business with you previously. Sometimes, this is all it takes to push someone over the edge to work with you and sign the contract.

    For help with creating your marketing plan, give the PAAR Marketing Center a call at 309.688.6419!

5 Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Send Seasonal and Holiday Cards

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*from cherialguire.com

Fall and the holiday season are both approaching. There is a never ending to do list that seems to get multiplied this time of year. Is sending seasonal or holiday cards something that should make that list? YES! Sending greeting cards is a way to show your appreciation and send well wishes to your clients. In fact, here are 5 reasons to make sure sending cards makes your to do list:

  1.  Show how much you care: The act of sending a card shows the person on the receiving end that you thought about them, that you care about them, and that you recognize the fact that they contributed to your success. Everyone wants to feel special and when they receive a greeting card from you in the mail, they feel that way, not like they are just a number with your business. It is how you make them feel.
  2.  Send well wishes: The fall, winter, and the holidays come at the end of the year. When you send a card, it is a great time to wish people well. You are saying that you are thinking about them, and you wish only the best for them in the future.
  3. Cultivates referrals: I am not suggesting you ask for referrals in your cards; I am just saying that when you send a card and make someone feel good, they naturally want to reciprocate and do something for you.
  4. Keeps you top of mind: It is much easier and cheaper to keep customers than it is to get a new one. However, you still need to do something. You can’t just ignore your past clients and expect them to come running to you next time they need your product or service. You need to stay top of mind. Instead of advertising to them, remind them how much you care about them. A little (of the right stuff) goes a long way here.
  5. It is fun and easy to do – especially with the help of the PAAR Marketing Center! Call us today 309.688.6419 or email us at centralillinoishomesguide.com to learn more about the seasonal and holiday cards we offer. We can get you a quote right away!