Category Archives for "Marketing"

How we can take tips from Marty McFly to help our future selves

How we can take tips from Marty McFly to help our future selves

How we can take tips from Marty McFly to help our future selves

Anyone else notice that buyers today are a little more difficult? Perhaps even a little (or a lot) crazy during negotiations and/or inspections?

If NO, yay for you and the perfect world you live in. (And please tell me where I can find these unicorns!)

If YES, the struggle is REAL!

If we could go Back to the Future, what would Marty McFly do to help his future self ?

How we can take tips from Marty McFly to help our future selves
  • He would use his big ol' camcorder to document Doc Brown's processes. 
  • He'd write secret notes to be opened in the future (when Doc needs it). 
  • He expected history to repeat itself and used that to his advantage.
  • (And a bunch of other shenanigans that are beside today's point)

Marty was a content creating machine, before it was trendy.

The fact is our buyers don't always listen to us. During showings they're not focused on what we say because they're mentally arranging their furniture in the living room. Or they didn't comprehend what you said because it wasn't what they needed to know at that moment.

We need to inform them in a way they'll remember (preferably without repeating ourselves over and over) and creating content is the best way to do it!

If you create this educational content you can give it to them whenever they need it. For example:

  • A video highlighting what to expect during inspection
  • An email template outlining the next steps after contract acceptance
  • A thorough explanation of earnest money they could read/watch
  • A blog post/video/email sharing a story about a nightmare-crazytown buyer that asked for new carpet because they didn't like the color anymore (yes, this happened to me), and how that's not the point of inspections

I could go on and on but you probably get the idea. Then you re-purpose that content on every other platform you use (blog/YouTube playlist/social posts/drip emails, etc).

This is possibly the best time to start creating your educational content library. Because you might have extra time on your hands thanks to coronavirus. And because now is better than later, even if you're busier than ever before.

Your future self will thank you. 

Join the Club

We have several courses in Savvy Agent Club that focus on content creation. If you're not sure where to start on your own this would be a great asset to your business. 

youtube for real estate agents

YouTube for Real Estate Agents

youtube for

real estate agents

Imagine if you could get 2-3 leads a day, for free, that are ready to buy (or sell) and they've already decided that YOU'RE their agent.

Wouldn't that be awesome?? (I mean, who is going to say no to FREE real estate lead generation??)

In this video, Karin Carr shared with us many principles she uses to generate leads (2-3 a day!) on YouTube (for FREE!) that not only work for her, but work for her students as well.

YouTube for real estate agents has so many opportunities available for EVERY agent!

If you'd like to join the 5 day challenge that opens up on 2/24/20: http://bit.ly/37IFCue 

If you'd like to skip the challenge and dive right into the course: http://bit.ly/37FCZtc 

BEFORE YOU START ADVERTISING ON ZILLOW

read this before you start advertising on zillow

This article was inspired by a coaching client who asked me if they should start advertising on Zillow because $200 was open in a zip code they would like to be in. 

It all started because Zillow has been contacting agents with the good news that they've opened up spots in popular zip codes. Apparently they're getting more traffic and leads than they expected so they can let more advertisers in. 

But, before you invest, consider what you'll GET for your money. 

For example, if a zip code you want has only $200 available - how many live connections will you receive? 

Probably less than 1 per month.

Is $200 really worth .5 a lead? That's a HALF of a lead. Seriously. 

That means you'll be getting ONE lead every other month. WHAT?!?


Your Zillow rep (aka sales person) will sell you on the "nurture" leads. These are also sometimes called "other" leads. And, while all leads are welcome and nice to have, you need to understand that they are a lower quality leads and they don't convert like the live calls. 

The "Nurture/Other" leads include people that are unresponsive - which means the lead is OLD. Who even knows how long Zillow has attempted to reach this lead. Probably at least a few days, if not more. Those leads look like this:

Then, there's the "Nurture/Other" leads that specifically say they're not ready to talk to an agent. Maybe they said "OMG, DON'T CALL ME!" or maybe they said, "Ooops, I didn't mean to submit that on Zillow." Or, my favorite, "I don't know what you're talking about, I never asked about a property??" Those leads look like this: 

The live calls, or "connections" are the best quality of the paid leads through Zillow.

However, they aren't as amazing as Zillow would have you believe.

To give you some perspective, I spent $1168 on Zillow in the last month. 

With that investment,  in the last 30 days I've received 5 "connections" and this is where they're at today:

1 - was a bonus connection - it wasn't in the zip code we advertise in it. Thank goodness, because turns out she has an agent. She told us on the phone she didn't have an agent, but then when we drove 30 minutes to show her a rural property she mentioned in fact she DOES have an agent. Awesome. 

1 - buyer rescheduled two different appointments with us but did take our advice to get pre-approved. Unfortunately, they don't have enough trade lines to get approved today. Naturally, we'll stay in touch and hopefully convert them to a sale in the future. 

1- showed the buyer one house, her brother is buying it for her family but can't provide a pre-approval letter. After days of inquiring on pre-foreclosures (aka homes NOT for sale) she's ghosted us. We will continue to call, text and email and nurture this lead. 

2 - were decent prospects that aren't ready to buy today, but might be ready to write within the next 6 months. 

SO, in 30 days, we have 2 good prospects. 

What do you think about those leads? Does it seem sort of low for the investment? I know a lot of agents in more competitive cities and they're paying THOUSANDS more, for basically the same results.

Now, imagine if you're spending $200. That half a lead isn't going to get you very far, is it? 

So, before you invest your hard earned dollars - be very clear about what you can expect in return for that investment.


Please note that if you're a brand new advertiser with Zillow, you can probably expect to be in a 6 month contract. Maybe even a year contract.

It's no fun spending money when you're not getting much of anything in return.

So, if you've been wondering if you should start advertising on Zillow (or any other online portal) I hope you take some time to analyze what you can expect to get for your investment. 

While I'm not against investing in Zillow or other online lead strategies (obviously, since I do!) I firmly believe you should have a SOLID STRATEGY to help grow your business. And paying for half a lead a month isn't a very good strategy. Paying for online leads without a solid strategy isn't going to help you grow.

While you're here, why don't you grab our FREE social media graphics and amp up your social posts to reach your online audience - maybe they need your help buying or selling a house! 

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Download FREE Social Media Graphics

Designed exclusively for real estate agents, we've got 20 free graphics (just like these!) that you can use to promote your real estate business on social media. Grab yours!

how to spy on your competition in real estate

How to Spy on Your Competition in Real Estate

How to Spy on Your Competition in Real Estate

You know those agents that tell you how they get SO MUCH business from Facebook?

But, when you ask them HOW they’re getting all this business, they don’t really give an answer?

Yah, I know those agents too. And here’s a tip to SPY on them – and find out exactly what kind of ads they’re running!

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Download FREE Social Media Graphics

Designed exclusively for real estate agents, we've got 20 free graphics (just like these!) that you can use to promote your real estate business on social media. Grab yours!

Real Estate Agents: STOP Wasting Your Marketing Dollars!

Real Estate Agents: STOP Wasting Your Marketing Dollars!

You may not know this, but I actively sell real estate. I’m in the trenches with you every.single.day. Managing two businesses can get a little crazy which is why I’m vigilant about managing my marketing dollars. There is no room in the budget for anything to be wasted! And, I think every.single.one.of.you should regularly monitor your expenses to ensure you’re not wasting your marking dollars (or any other dollars, for that matter)!

ASK YOURSELF: ARE YOU USING IT?

Each month I go through ALL the expenses. The first question I ask myself is “Are we using this?” 

If the answer is NO – then go deeper. WHY NOT? 

The answer to this should give you direction.

Are you not using a service because you haven’t taken the time to set it up?

Well for crying out loud, you are a business owner. SCHEDULE THE TIME. 

Does the product/service no longer fit your business? 

That’s a sign it’s time to take action and part ways. For example, I recently realized I wasn’t using a monthly membership anymore. I had just outgrown it. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but it wasn’t a good fit for me and my real estate business today, so it was time to cancel it. Once you realize you need to take action – schedule time to make it happen. 

ASK YOURSELF: IS THIS MAKING YOUR LIFE EASIER?

I’m totally willing to pay for convenience. If you’re paying for a product or service that’s saving you time in any way – it’s like a good investment.

But, you might want to consistently make sure that you’re still getting the best price. 

For example, I had a problem with my voicemail system. I use BetterVoice to have multiple numbers so I can route calls based on lead source. We used to rely on it heavily. But, as different lead pillars evolved we’ve made changes in the way calls are routed to us. I still use it for sign calls – every single one of our signs have a Better Voice number on it and if I cancelled the service I’d have to print new signs. Yikes! 

However, I thought the $50/month price was a little steep considering how little we use it in comparison to the past usage. After speaking with customer service to resolve the problem I was having, I asked about pricing. Turns out, they could do better. Now I only pay $20 a month. It’s a small change, but so worth it! 

Don’t be afraid to switch services for a better price. 

If Better Voice hadn’t lowered my price, I probably would have researched other services. Looks like I can get about the same thing for $10 a month through YouMail. Today, it was worth it for me to not have to change all those numbers on my signs though. Changing this service would require some time in planning and I’d have to get some ugly stickers for my signs which requires time and a little expense as well. Ultimately, it was worth it to keep everything the same and save a little with my current provider. I’ll reserve the right to change my mind on that later! 

ASK YOURSELF: IS THIS REALLY WORTH IT?

If you’ve got a membership that you’re not really using but you love the Facebook group – maybe that makes the monthly expense worth it to you. But, if you’re not using a service properly, or at all, it probably isn’t worth the expense. (And I want you to stop wasting your marketing dollars!)

But, when you ARE using a product/service you should still ask yourself if it’s really worth it. 

Especially when they raise your prices. 

Yesterday I received an email notifying me that prices are going up with my current CRM. I’ve been with them since 2012 or 2013 – a long time! My needs haven’t really changed that much over the years and the CRM still meets my expectations. They’ve done a lot to improve it and I understand why they need to increase their prices. However, I don’t really use a lot of their new technology. The more I thought about it – I liked it better before it was so updated with tons of features I don’t need or even know about. 

Are you paying for the same service twice?

Plus, I have a website that has a built in CRM. I don’t think it’s as good as my other CRM – but now I’m wondering, is it really worth $250+ MORE a month? So, if you’re like me and you have some redundant services, maybe it’s time to decide if you need them all. After all, you don’t want to waste your marketing dollars anymore than I do. 

Don’t forget to TAKE ACTION. 

No matter what you decide to do, whether it’s keeping the service but learning how to use it, or cancelling it completely – don’t forget to take action. It’s really easy to put something off to deal with later. And before you know it, you’ve paid for this product or service that you’re not using or don’t value for another 6 months! 

If you don’t already have a system in place to keep your expenses organized, you can download the exact spreadsheet I use in my real estate business. I’ve called this “Accounting is Sexy” with a pretty little pig to disguise the fact that it’s a spreadsheet. You’re welcome 🙂

Get Access Immediately:

How to Get More People to Engage With Your Posts on Social Media

How to Get More People to Engage With Your Posts on Social Media

I follow a lot of real estate agents on social media and was struck by how BORED I was seeing the same old boring listings marketed for sale. Obviously, they were different listings from different agents – but the effect was the same. And, if I’m bored, imagine how your audience that doesn’t work in real estate feels! 

So, this is the second installment of our “how not to be boring” series. This video has tips that you can easily incorporate into your listing marketing strategy on social media. It doesn’t cost anything either! (See the first installment here.)

To get the most engagement, the most likes, the most clicks, comments, conversation from all of your listing, promotion posts on social media…

you need to do this ONE thing.

So you know, if you’re posting your listings, coming soon, new listing, price reduced, those aren’t very exciting posts. You might be excited about it. But that’s about where the excitement ends.

So in order to get your audience INTERESTED in what you’re sharing and get your listing some exposure you need to TELL A STORY.

Now, I make it sound like that’s really easy.

But you actually have to put a little bit of thought into it. So what could your story be?

SELLER’S STORY

Maybe it is a story about your sellers and how they have lived in this home for 20 years. Raised their family, they went to Valley High School (go tigers!), and now they’re ready to move to the next chapter of their life. And they’re very excited to put the house on the market to find the next people to love the home as much as they did…

Pulls at the heartstrings a little bit.

AGENT’S STORY

Maybe your story is about how hard the sellers have worked to get the house ready for market. Maybe you’ve been working with them for a long time. It takes time for people to clean and declutter and stage and paint and clean – all of the things that go into listing a house for sale.

Maybe you should share the story of all of the work that you put into it because hey, it’s your social media feed. You’re the one that’s a REALTOR. And, you don’t really care about the interest in the house. You care about the interest in YOU.

So tell the story about how much effort, work, and commitment you put in with these people to help get their house sold for top dollar in today’s market!

FUTURE VISION STORY

Boring houses are the hardest houses to come up with a story.

So maybe the best story for the boring vanilla, nothing really special about it house is about this space and the vision that you have for it. You could say, “If I were to buy this house, (which by the way, it’s priced to really good!) If I were to buy this house, I would immediately renovate the fireplace and I would put in a gas insert and I would do a ledge stone from floor to ceiling. And then this room would be my favorite room in the house because it would be so warm and cozy. I wouldn’t want to spend my time anywhere else.”

Future Vision Story = What do you see for the next people owning that house?

So then next time you have a brand new listing, think about this story that you can tell on your social media feed. Instead of just posting a boring picture of the exterior of the house that says, “Hey, look at me. I’ve got a new listing. I’m a boring REALTOR.” Get them ENGAGED. Be SOCIAL with them. Make them feel an emotion. Make them laugh and smile at your quirkiness or how fun you are, or make them fall in love with the story of the house that you’re sharing with them. And, make them want that house, that story for themselves.

Maybe that’s not the right house for them. But if you do this enough on your social media feed, then your people are going to feel a connection with you. So, when the time is right, they’re going to call you to SELL their house, help them BUY a new home, or better yet give you a REFERRAL.

And if you just can’t think of anything to post, of course, grab our free social media graphics pack here.

Then, on the days that you’re uninspired and you just don’t know what else to do, you can post one of those graphics with a quick snippet and stay in touch with your current audience. We’ve got more tips and tricks on exactly how to get more engagement with your audience on social media. So SUBSCRIBE and stay tuned for more.

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Download FREE Social Media Graphics

Designed exclusively for real estate agents, we've got 20 free graphics (just like these!) that you can use to promote your real estate business on social media. Grab yours!

How to Market Your Listings on Social Media

How to Market Your Listings on Social Media

I follow a lot of real estate agents on social media and was struck by how BORED I was seeing the same old boring listings marketed for sale. Obviously, they were different listings from different agents – but the effect was the same. And, if I’m bored, imagine how your audience that doesn’t work in real estate feels! 

So, this is the first installment of our “how not to be boring” series. This video has tips that you can easily incorporate into your listing marketing strategy on social media. It doesn’t cost anything either! 

Obviously, you can market your listings on social media any way you want. But, I’m assuming that you want people to actually be interested in your posts and not pass you by. 

On their own, houses don’t usually make people stop and think, “What is this, I need to know more?” 

And, that’s exactly what you want them to do! You want them to want to know more!

Use your Instagram app to do fun boomerangs and superzooms. Add captions, use the poll feature or the questions feature are other fun ways to market your listings without being super dull and boring.

The side effect of thinking outside the box with your social media when marketing your listings is that people might actually engage you about your listings! They might ask questions, comment on your posts and even like it and SHARE! Wouldn’t that be great? 

Don’t forget, if you’re totally uninspired (or maybe you don’t have a listing to market right now) you can grab our FREE 20 graphics to use on your social media feed. 

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Download FREE Social Media Graphics

Designed exclusively for real estate agents, we've got 20 free graphics (just like these!) that you can use to promote your real estate business on social media. Grab yours!

how to market your vacant listings with virtual staging

How to Market Your Vacant Listings with Virtual Staging

How to Market Your Vacant Listings with Virtual Staging

Have you ever had a listing that is vacant and would benefit from staging but for whatever reason the cost for staging just isn’t in your budget?

One of my favorite and quite affordable solutions to this is virtual staging.

There’s probably a lot of options for virtual staging but the one I’m using is Box Brownie.

Check out these before and after photos:

BEFORE

AFTER

Living Room
Dining Room
Master Bedroom
Theater Room (Lower Level)

What was a rather vanilla looking listing is now quite interesting!

You can choose the type of style you want it done in. The photos above were in Urban Industrial style.

Another choice is if you want it neat but lived in or neat as a pin – everything in it’s place. If you notice the bed is a little messy looking – I don’t love that but it’s because I selected the neat but lived in look.

Each virtual room costs $32 to stage with Box Brownie. At a quick glance you wouldn’t know it was staged – but if you look close you can totally tell. Still, for $32 a picture it’s soooooooooo worth it!

This particular listing is $170,000. (Don’t judge, I live in the very affordable Midwest!) And, I’ve only invested $128 on staging. The sellers are impressed (their last agent had some unfortunate photos) and hopefully these photos will catch the attention of our target buyer market.

I don’t get a kickback from Box Brownie for recommending them. Seriously, I’m just so impressed with them I think all agents should know about this resource to help them up their marketing game!

**Make sure you follow any rules in your association regarding how you market virtually staged photos so you don’t get in any trouble!

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new years marketing resolution

New Year’s Marketing Resolution

Do you have New Year’s resolutions for your real estate business? If you’re not sure where to start here is one of my favorite New Year’s marketing resolutions. This resolution can (and should) be implemented every year. It doesn’t expire and always gets better.

New Year’s Marketing Resolution: Do more with your database

You’ve probably heard people say that there’s a lot of money in your database. So, as the markets tighten, and online lead costs skyrocket, focus on finding the sales that exist in your database!

What do you need to do to get this resolution working?

1. Create a database

Seriously – it’s almost 2019. If you don’t have a database yet, you need to stop everything and get your house in order! You don’t need to buy an expensive CRM (although sometimes they’re helpful). You could actually start with an excel spreadsheet. So, take a few minutes, gather your contacts and create your database.

2. Create communication plan

Now that you’ve got your database organized, you need a communication plan. How will you stay in touch with all those people? Do they all get the SAME communication or should you treat them differently? Consider how you’ll communicate (and how often) with your past clients, sphere of influence, active leads and old leads that may have fallen off your radar. Some ideas to get you started:

 3. Give value

Value is one of those things that EVERYONE talks about but is sometimes hard to identify. So, take a little time and think about the value you have to offer your database. If you’re going to incorporate value into your communication plan, maybe it looks something like this:

  • Send a weekly newsletter that includes market statistics.
  • Call your past clients every 90 days with an equity update.
  • Perhaps your sphere of influence would also appreciate an equity update – even if they’ve owned their home longer than you’ve been in real estate.
  • Connect with your database on social media by posting hyper local content and other interesting types of posts that people will engage with.  

You know that real estate is a long game.

Working your database consistently is a long game strategy. You might get quick wins here and there (which is fantastic!!) but if you don’t – please don’t be discouraged.

You’re in real estate 24/7, but most people only buy a handful of homes a lifetime.

Your goal is to remain top of mind with the people you know. So, when they are ready to buy or sell, you’re the first person they think of. But, you’re also the person they share with their network when someone mentions real estate! (Hello, referrals?!?!)

This new year’s 2019 marketing resolution to stay in touch with your database shouldn’t cost you a lot of money. It does require a little time to implement. But, investing time to deepen your relationship with the people in your database is time well spent!

We’ve got all the resources, templates and trainings you need to master the above strategies in Savvy Agent Club. If you’re not already a member, check it out.

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Insert Content Template or Symbol
Grow Your Real Estate Business With a Weekly Newsletter

Grow Your Real Estate Business With a Weekly Newsletter

Grow Your Real Estate Business With a Weekly Newsletter

I had the pleasure of talking with Ricky Carruth about his weekly newsletter on a recent Facebook live. Below the video, I’ve outlined the best practices and other value bombs we talked about.

BEST PRACTICES

Some key tips are highlighted with the time we discussed. And, others are just paraphrased throughout.

00:05 – Introduction

Who Ricky is, some history on how he got to be pretty much awesome. 

5:27 – Ricky recommends sending your own newsletter – yourself.

He spends about an hour a week on his. Don’t delegate this task to an assistant because it’s just too important. Put it in your own words. And, if you can do your newsletter yourself then it will be more valuable to your audience than a newsletter subscription you might outsource. Your newsletter is an extension of yourself. It shows your audience how professional, hard working, consistent – all the things people want in an agent. Your newsletter is doing the heavy lifting for you! Plus, sending a newsletter is leveraging your time. One send stays in touch with your entire database. 

9:18 – Does the day of the week matter for when you send your newsletter?

The day of the week you send your newsletter isn’t very important. Consistently sending it every week is the important piece. 

10:50 – Should you send your own newsletter or use a subscription service that does it for you? (hint – do it yourself)

Focus on market facts vs. fluff that no one wants. People want real market facts – new listings, solds, something that helps inform them to make good decisions. Plus you don’t want to send the same automated message as the competition. 

13:40 – Your newsletter doesn’t have to be perfect.

But it will surely be perfectly YOU. 

14:13 – How do you choose your content?

Ricky plans his newsletter on a whim – he knows it needs to be ready to send out every Wednesday so he prepares it weekly and just chooses information that’s relevant to the market at that time. That helps avoid scheduled content especially if there’s some breaking news that needs to be addressed in the newsletter. Mix up a little business with a little market info and a little bit of you. Keep the self promotion to the minimum. Don’t be a bragger. 

19:20 – What do you think is your audience’s favorite type of content in your newsletter?

Ricky doesn’t think there’s ONE favorite. He includes such a variety of content that it gives everyone a reason to open the email. 

21:20 – Do you email your past clients in each weekly email?

YES. Ricky says – it’s an email – how is it bothering them? He’s very clear that this is how he does business and if you don’t like the fact that he’s doing a hell of a job, then we don’t need to do business anymore. If you don’t like the fact that I work so hard and I give you everything you need every week, then I don’t know what else I can do for you. 

22:36 – How do you link to closed homes? Is it a link on the MLS or something else? And, how do you cover a larger area with suburbs?

Ricky creates a spreadsheet that he uploads to his website. You can separate out areas by links on your website.

24:18 – What email provider do you use?

Ricky uses Constant Contact. For the size of his database he’s spending around $200 a month. You can get a free trial for 50 days or so up to 500 contacts. After that there is a monthly fee. (Savvy Agent recommends MailChimp because it’s got a forever free option for less than 2,500 contacts) 

27:08 – BombBomb

Interesting how he used BombBomb once and the open rate was terrible! Ricky believes it’s because the spam filters can detect an embedded video and automatically flag your email as spam. He switched back to his old provider immediately!

28:10 – Have you ever had to improve your open rate?

Ricky said he doesn’t care about open rates. People put too much value on open rate. There’s a lot of value in having your name appear in someone’s inbox. So, even if they don’t open your email for 2 years but then call you when they’re ready – mission accomplished. He also talks about the level of quality in your database – the more your database knows you personally, the better chances of an open rate. 

30:55 – Do you use a special opt in or just send to everyone?

He doesn’t use an opt in really, he just adds people as he talks to them and gets their email address. (If you use a CRM – you might find an email provider that will sync to your CRM. For example, I use FollowUpBoss for a CRM which syncs nicely with MailChimp.)

31:42 – Do you always have the same subject line?

Ricky always has the same subject line – {{Your Area}} Market Report {{Date}} So, his is Gulf Coast Market Report {{date}}. And, he doesn’t use emojis. AND, he never changes the subject line because it becomes expected, like a part of your brand, and people appreciate consistency. 

33:39 – Final thoughts.

Be consistent. Pick a day and commit to sending that email each week for the rest of your life. As you go along you might change your newsletter format and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, always send each week. He thinks that sending once a month, or even bi-monthly, might make you seem like a part time agent. And when you send good quality content then weekly newsletters aren’t too frequent. 

Join Savvy Agent Club for more information and step by step instructions on how to create your own newsletter to nurture your database and prove on a weekly basis that you're the hardest working agent in town!

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