Check out all of the amazing listings in the September 21 Central IL Homes Guide. Available online and on stands this Friday.
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
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.
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.
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.
*from Delta Media Group
Wouldn’t it be nice to pay for your online advertising only when someone clicks on it? That’s the basic concept behind pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which is an effective but sometimes misunderstood marketing tool for real estate brokers. PPC is an excellent tool for earning clicks on agent websites or targeted landing pages, but success isn’t automatic. Start developing your PPC strategy today, with this step-by-step guide to PPC advertising for real estate brokers.
Learn How to Leverage the Power of PPC Advertising
Step One: Know Your Market & Find Your Target Audience
Successful PPC advertising starts with understanding who you want to reach, and what your audience will be looking for in your target market. Start by considering the target audience that you already aim to reach for each agent or group, and looking at the types of home that audience prefers to buy in your target communities.
The target audience that you choose will have a significant impact on the keywords that you use for PPC advertising. The simple keyword string of “homes for sale in [city/neighborhood name]” is a great place to start, but you can also get more specific. If the agent targets luxury homebuyers, then the keywords you choose for PPC marketing will look a bit different than if they were targeting first-time buyers on a tight budget.
Step Two: Choosing a Platform & Creating Your PPC Ad
With an audience in mind, it’s time to take the next steps toward creating your PPC advertising. Popular search engines and social media sites will generally offer the best bang for your buck with PPC. Google PPC allows you to find your target audience on the world’s most popular search engine, while Facebook offers a huge audience and great tools to help you reach them with PPC.
When you create a PPC campaign, you choose who you want to target, and how much you want to pay to reach them. The amount that you spend for each click depends in part on how specific you get with your keywords and targeting. An ad tailored to a particular audience will naturally cost more per click than one targeted to a large, broad group.
Finding the right combination of audience, keywords, and platform for your PPC advertising may take some trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment with smaller campaigns to get started. As a broker, you can also reuse variations of some of your most popular phrases with different agents and markets. The creative demands of PPC are minimal, so you can invest more of your marketing funds into reaching the right audience.
Step Three: Follow Through & Convert
PPC advertising works best when you treat it as a way to get your foot in the door because getting your audience to click is just the start of what you want to accomplish with real estate marketing. It’s critical to make sure that when prospects land on the real estate website or landing page, the agent is ready to take the next steps to convert them into customers through real estate content and authentic engagement. PPC prospects are often in the early stages of shopping for a home, so agents need to be prepared to nurture, develop, and convert those leads as they arrive.
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”
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…
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 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.
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.
Do you want more customers, more income, and more profitability? Then, you probably need an excellent marketing strategy. But, strategy without a plan doesn’t bring you the success that you want. So, you will need an excellent marketing plan.
The marketing function is one of the most important functions of your company and a vital part of your success. Without marketing, your business may have a very low number of customers. Without customers, you can’t sell enough of your products and services. Without enough sales, you don’t have enough revenue. Without enough revenue, you can’t make a profit.
Marketing presents a continuous process that every business must perform from the beginning. If the marketing is a process then a marketing plan is the tool for implementation of that process.
Writing such a plan is not the simple task. But, if you have one, it will help you to know what action steps you need to take in order to attract enough and the right type of customers for your business.
Marketing Plan: What Is It?
In the simplest way, a marketing plan is a blueprint for the activities related to communication of the messages about your products or services, or your business in general to your customers or potential customers.
In other words, it is a detailed roadmap that outlines all your marketing strategies, tactics, activities, costs and projected results over a period of time. It is the detailed written document setting the necessary marketing actions that your business needs to take to achieve one or more marketing objectives. This plan contains various strategies formulated to achieve the business growth and profit objectives.
A marketing plan outlines the specific actions you want to take in order to build an interest to potential customers and clients about your products and/or services. Then to persuade them to buy the product and/or services that you are offering.
The Purpose of Your Marketing Plan
The purpose of a marketing plan is to:
- coordinate your business goals,
- define the market and create proper market segmentation,
- define marketing mix and
- systematize activities about chosen marketing strategies.
Continuity of the Marketing Plan
While a marketing plan will give you an important part of activities for your business, every entrepreneur should update it regularly. This plan, once it is written, needs to be updated on a regular basis. You must remember that marketing and its activity planning is not something to be carried out only once.
For example, you can choose 5 different marketing weapons for the next six months. If you measure the effects of implementation of those marketing weapons, you can easily see that some of them will work well, and some of them will not give you desired, or targeted results. You must change something in those marketing weapons that did not give you desired results.
You must remember that a good marketing plan is something that never ends, and maintaining a marketing plan is an ongoing process.
Marketing Plan: Why It Is Needed?
With a good marketing plan you may:
- Follow up on marketing activities and analyze what is good and what is not.
- Analyze your market and gain solid knowledge about your target customers, market segments, your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Timely change your marketing strategies and tactics.
- Know how you spend your marketing money.
- Know real ROI from your marketing money.
Your marketing plan is effective only if you have the capacity to implement it.
You must implement every step covered in your plan if you want your marketing activities to be effective. If you implement every activity obtained in one marketing plan you will know what to exclude next year, or what to add to new activities.
*from Keeping Current Matters
When homeowners decide to sell their houses, they obviously want to get the best possible price for their home with the least amount of hassles along the way. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is actually getting their homes sold.
In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed a buyer’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Home Buyer & Seller Generational Trends Report, the first step that “42% of recent buyers took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale.”
However, the report also revealed that 94% of buyers who used the internet when searching for homes ultimately purchased their homes through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% of buyers purchased their homes directly from a seller whom they didn’t know.
Buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (52%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (38%), or to help understand the process (60%).
The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers who reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who have used agents to buy their homes has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.
If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.
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!
Personal branding – it’s the buzzword of the moment, and for real estate agents, it is critical to every sale. Standing you apart from the crowd, making you memorable to vendors, authentic personal branding can be the difference between success and failure.
We all know that effective branding is a critical component to business success. From the start-up handing out flyers to a multi-million dollar logo relaunch, a solid branding strategy can be found within every successful enterprise. Yet this need for a cohesive brand doesn’t just apply to businesses, and in today’s digital world that brand extends so much further than simply matching the color of your stationery. As Seth Godin described, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a customer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
For customer-facing roles, such as real estate agents, having a clearly articulated brand is as essential as having a business card or a mobile phone. Some might even say that more than any other business, real estate agents are selected and used based on personality and presentation… your personal brand.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is the process by which we market ourselves to others, or to paraphrase:
Your Personality + Your Promise = Your Personal Brand
For real estate agents, this is the foundation of your sales strategy. Unless you have built relationships and created awareness of your unique sales approach and your Unique Selling Proposition, you won’t be remembered when it comes time for vendors to go to market. You need to be at the forefront of a home seller’s mind when they pick up the phone. And you achieve that with your personal brand.
However, personal branding has to be true to what makes you ‘you’. There’s no point marketing yourself as an agent that loves house styling, if you are color-blind, or don’t know the difference between a chaise lounge or recliner! A false brand will scream of misdirection, and in the real estate industry, presenting a trustworthy, honest version of yourself is critical. Find your positive traits and your Unique Selling Proposition, and from there a genuine personal brand will grow.
Establish your personality
To begin, ask yourself a few honest questions:
- How do you see yourself?
- How do your peers see you?
- What are your beliefs, your values?
- Are you detail orientated and organized? Bubbly and confident? Personable and thoughtful?
By looking inward at your genuine traits, you can begin to build an honest picture of the person that potential home sellers meet. From this list, you can choose positive attributes that are true to you, and that resemble the brand that you want to present to the vendor; the traits you want to be known for.
Ensuring your self-impression always aligns with how others actually perceive you is key to long-lasting, effective brand. As Jeff Bezos, (Founder of Amazon.com) said, “Your personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”
What is your promise?
There are a lot (a LOT!) of real estate agents out there. Somehow you need to be the one that home sellers eventually decide to sell through. So… why should they choose you?
Your promise answers this.
What do you do for home sellers that others don’t?
- Do you go above and beyond the call of duty in negotiations?
- Are you particularly skilled in closing deals?
- What are your passions?
- What skill are you most proud of?
- What are your superpowers?!
This promise is what will become your Unique Selling Proposition– that one ‘thing’ that stands you apart from everyone else. Though, when I work with clients, I prefer to use Unique Value Proposition. What value do you bring your vendors over and above other competing agents in the area?
You can identify your Unique Selling Proposition or Unique Value Proposition in 5 simple steps:
- List the things that are unique about your service, the things that your competitors can’t imitate. What are the things you are really good at?
- Identify what emotional need is being met by your service.
- Compare these Unique Selling Propositions against your competitors and remove those that are already being met elsewhere.
- Match the Unique Selling Proposition to your personality, the two must complement each other, not contradict!
- Remember, it’s not about being the best (everyone is trying to do that!). It’s about being the best at something that no one else is.
Delivering your personal brand
So, you have a personal brand you can confidently use! From here, define your personal brand with a compelling brand statement. Communicate this brand clearly and often.
Use this brand statement to answer the vendor’s first question: ‘What do I get?’ with a short, concise phrase that is consistent with your values and your personal branding. Be different and avoid reusing common terms such as ‘trust’ and ‘integrity’, which have now sadly lost their impact.
Whatever your brand becomes, bear in mind the words of the very wise Sir Richard Branson: “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.”
Are your agents considering using a Just Listed or Just Sold postcards? Before they do, you and your agents should read this! If your agents want to know how to make Just Listed and Just Sold postcards work in any area, you’ll need to cover five points.
Just Listed and Just Sold postcards are proven to be one of the best new business lead generators for real estate agents, but making mailers that work well and give a return on investment may be hard.
It’s important to make sure your agents:
- Stand out from the crowd
- Show how successful they have been in their area; and
- Give buyers and sellers confidence that they can do the same for them
Postcards That Work
There are 5 key attributes that your agents need in their mailers for them to have maximum impact.
The things needed are:
- Great photography
- Show what the properties were sold for or are on the market for
- Include testimonials
- The agent’s contact information
- A clear call to action
Let’s touch on each of those points in a bit more detail so your agents can win themselves more leads.
1. Great Photography
One of the most important ways to ensure your agents have a postcard mailer that grabs people’s attention is by including amazing photographs.
The old saying of images conveying 1000 words is probably more like 10,000 words when it comes to real estate photography.
There’s so much that a photograph conveys to buyers and sellers, and that goes the same for using the property photos of their previous sales to capture new sellers.
Long frontal shots that show off the best aspect work great for these mailers because they’re simple and can show similarities that resonate with other sellers.
2. Show What The Properties Were Sold For Or Are On The Market For
It is really important to be upfront about what kind of result your agents have achieved for their previous sellers.
Agents should include prices on their postcards. It gives buyers and sellers a reasonable idea about what they might be able to achieve for their homes, too.
If your agents are mailing this marketing piece to the same area, then this pricing information might be enough to get them over the line if they’re on the fence about selling.
Agents may also include additional wording here surrounding the prices to show whether it was a high price record for the area/street or how many days it was or has been on the market. Whatever is impressive, this is where agents may boast about it to new buyers and sellers coming on board.
3. Include Testimonials
Testimonials remain one of the most powerful motivators.
There’s something about hearing about other people’s success that makes you think “that could be me too”. For an agent, this is like gold.
Agents shouldn’t cover the back of their postcard in irrelevant fluff. If your agents want it to work well as a lead generator, they should include testimonials about what it’s like to work with them. Let their clients boast about the experience of working with them.
Make sure your agents also include names and photographs where possible and also comply with any local regulations about showing testimonials.
4. Your Contact Information
Obviously, agents need to include their contact information somewhere on the postcard. But, did you know that the placement and way an agent presents that information can make a massive difference?
Here’s what your agents need to include in order of importance:
- His/Her name
- His/Her direct mobile/cell phone number
- Personal headshot
- His/Her company logo
- His/Her website
It’s important that your agents include all of these if they can, but if they’re limited on space, just make sure that they at least get the top 3.
Also, pay attention closely to the readability of these items as that can affect the performance of your mailer.
Studies have shown that readability is decreased with light colored text on dark backgrounds, so if you are using a template with light text on a dark background you should look at increasing the point size of the font a little bit to help readability.
For templates where the color scheme is dark text on a light background, your agents won’t have so much trouble with readability.
5. A Clear Call To Action
Finally, let’s talk about a call to action – the most important piece of your agents’ Just Listed or Just Sold postcard.
This can take many forms, from the tried and true “free appraisal/price evaluation” through to more creative ones like “I have a list of pre-qualified buyers looking for properties in your suburb. Call me to arrange a chat today.”
Sometimes it can also help to offer a lead magnet, some type of brochure or flyer or report that will get sellers interested to know more about their local area’s real estate performance.
Can your agents put something together that will showcase the latest sales in their area with some interesting statistics? Could your agents put together a checklist of to-do items buyers and sellers may need to work their way through in order to prepare their home for sale?
This information is really interesting to people that are looking to sell and it is a good way to differentiate your agents’ just sold flyers from all the other similar mail people receive every day.
Regardless of how your agents word it, or what they are promising people, just make sure they don’t leave it out.
For more information on Just Listed postcards, contact the PAAR Marketing Center for a quote!